FROM Terry Ross
The Border Fence with Mexico: What's the Rush? Late last week, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff waived more than 30 environmental laws to complete the fence on the Mexican border before the end of this year. About 300 miles have been completed, with 370 left to go. The Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts are among those that won't apply for 361 miles along the Texas-Arizona border. Significant parts of several wildlife refuges will be on the Mexico side. Private lands will be subject to eminent domain. The Mayor of Eagle Pass, Texas says it's a waste of money that conveys a false sense of security. Why is the government moving so fast? Will better enforcement be enough to justify long-term environmental costs?
Is Illegal Immigration a Burden or a Blessing? The President's latest proposal for immigration reform now includes stepped up border security and tamper-proof ID cards for guest workers. But the road to legal status and citizenship for illegal immigrants still bothers members of both parties--especially Republicans. With immigration reform seemingly stalled this year on Capitol Hill, cities and towns around the country are finding their own ways of dealing with newcomers. We hear about "zero tolerance," with fines for employers and landlords of undocumented workers, and about places revitalized by illegal immigrants, who are opening stores, paying taxes and cooperating with local police.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.