Trump officials pressing to slash refugee admissions to zero next year


This post is by Ted Hesson from Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories


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The Trump administration is considering a virtual shutdown of refugee admissions next year — cutting the number to nearly zero — according to three people familiar with the plan.

During a key meeting of security officials on refugee admissions last week, a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services representative who is closely aligned with White House immigration adviser Stephen Miller suggested setting a cap at zero, the people said. Homeland Security Department officials at the meeting later floated making the level anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000, according to one of the people.

The proposal for a near-shutdown of the refugee program is alarming officials at the Department of Defense, who don’t want to see a halt in admissions of Iraqis who risked their lives assisting U.S. forces in that country. The possible move comes after the Trump administration cut refugee admissions by a third this year, to 30,000.

If Continue reading “Trump officials pressing to slash refugee admissions to zero next year”

Trump officials pressing to slash refugee admissions to zero next year


This post is by Ted Hesson from Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





The Trump administration is considering a virtual shutdown of refugee admissions next year — cutting the number to nearly zero — according to three people familiar with the plan.

During a key meeting of security officials on refugee admissions last week, a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services representative who is closely aligned with White House immigration adviser Stephen Miller suggested setting a cap at zero, the people said. Homeland Security Department officials at the meeting later floated making the level anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000, according to one of the people.

The proposal for a near-shutdown of the refugee program is alarming officials at the Department of Defense, who don’t want to see a halt in admissions of Iraqis who risked their lives assisting U.S. forces in that country. The possible move comes after the Trump administration cut refugee admissions by a third this year, to 30,000.

If Continue reading “Trump officials pressing to slash refugee admissions to zero next year”

ACLU files lawsuit to block Trump’s sweeping asylum ban


This post is by Ted Hesson from Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories


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The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit today to halt a sweeping new regulation that cuts off asylum for migrants who passed through another country en route to the U.S.-Mexico border.

The ACLU — representing four advocacy organizations — argued that President Donald Trump’s latest crackdown violates federal immigration and regulatory laws.

“This is the Trump administration’s most extreme run at an asylum ban yet,” said ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt in a related announcement. “It clearly violates domestic and international law, and cannot stand.”

The departments of Justice and Homeland Security announced a new fast-track rule Monday that will block asylum for any migrants who first pass through another country without applying for protections. The regulation would nullify the majority of asylum claims, including those of Central Americans fleeing persecution in their home countries.

In the lawsuit, which was filed in the Northern District of California, Continue reading “ACLU files lawsuit to block Trump’s sweeping asylum ban”

Fast-track regulation bars third-country asylum seekers


This post is by Ted Hesson from Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories


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A new fast-track asylum regulation will prevent migrants from seeking asylum in the U.S. if they first pass through another country and don’t apply for protection in that nation.

The regulation — first reported by POLITICO in May — would effectively cut off asylum protections for Central American migrants who travel to the U.S.-Mexico border from their home country.

The measure will publish in the Federal Register Tuesday and will take effect immediately. Migrants who entered the U.S. before the effective date will not be subject to the new standard, according to an advance notice posted online Monday.

The move, which comes as President Donald Trump continues to grapple with a recent surge of migration on the southwest border, likely will face court challenges. A federal judge in November temporarily halted a similar Trump policy that blocked migrants who cross between ports of entry from seeking Continue reading “Fast-track regulation bars third-country asylum seekers”

Border arrests dropped sharply in June


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The number of migrants arrested by Border Patrol at the U.S.-Mexico border fell 29 percent in June, signaling that a migrant surge that’s taxed federal resources and ignited partisan battles on Capitol Hill may recede this summer.

Border Patrol arrested roughly 95,000 migrants in June, according to figures released Wednesday by Customs and Border Protection. That’s down from nearly 133,000 in May, the highest monthly total since March 2006.

Border arrests are a metric used widely to estimate the number of illegal border crossings.

A summer falloff in border arrests isn’t unusual. May-to-June declines occurred in nine of the last 10 years. But a senior CBP official argued Wednesday that June’s decline was due partly to new border security measures put in place by Mexican and U.S. authorities following talks last month.

“I would attribute Mexico to making some difference,” the official told reporters on a background Continue reading “Border arrests dropped sharply in June”

Border arrests dropped sharply in June


This post is by Ted Hesson from Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





The number of migrants arrested by Border Patrol at the U.S.-Mexico border fell 29 percent in June, signaling that a migrant surge that’s taxed federal resources and ignited partisan battles on Capitol Hill may recede this summer.

Border Patrol arrested roughly 95,000 migrants in June, according to figures released Wednesday by Customs and Border Protection. That’s down from nearly 133,000 in May, the highest monthly total since March 2006.

Border arrests are a metric used widely to estimate the number of illegal border crossings.

A summer falloff in border arrests isn’t unusual. May-to-June declines occurred in nine of the last 10 years. But a senior CBP official argued Wednesday that June’s decline was due partly to new border security measures put in place by Mexican and U.S. authorities following talks last month.

“I would attribute Mexico to making some difference,” the official told reporters on a background Continue reading “Border arrests dropped sharply in June”

Judge in census case denies DOJ motion to swap out lawyers


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A federal judge hearing lawsuits over the Trump administration’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census said Tuesday that he won’t allow the Justice Department to swap out lawyers without producing satisfactory reasons for the change.

Manhattan-based U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman wrote in a court order that DOJ’s motion earlier this week to replace its team of attorneys was “patently deficient” because the administration didn’t provide any reason for the switch.

In a three-page order, Furman denied the motion and said any future withdrawals must be supported by a signed and sworn affidavit from each attorney stating the reasons for his or her withdrawal and pledging to honor any future court sanctions or mandated appearances.

The Justice Department announced Sunday night that it would assign a new team of lawyers to tackle the census litigation, but didn’t state a reason for the change. The Continue reading “Judge in census case denies DOJ motion to swap out lawyers”

Census to leave citizenship question off of 2020 questionnaire


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The Census Bureau will not include a question about citizenship in the printed questionnaire for the 2020 census, according to an email sent by a Justice Department official.

“We can confirm that the decision has been made to print the 2020 Decennial Census questionnaire without a citizenship question, and that the printer has been instructed to begin the printing process,“ a DOJ attorney wrote to plaintiffs in related lawsuits.

The decision signals a major defeat for the Trump administration after the Supreme Court refused to allow the question to be added without further explanation from Census officials. Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the court’s liberal wing last week in a surprising decision that sent the case back lower courts for further review.

The Census Bureau said during litigation that it faced a June 30 deadline to finalize printed questionnaires. However, President Donald Trump threatened to delay the census following Continue reading “Census to leave citizenship question off of 2020 questionnaire”

How Cory Booker would ‘virtually eliminate’ immigration detention


This post is by Ted Hesson from Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories


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What would the plan do?

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) released a broad immigration plan Tuesday that his presidential campaign said would “virtually eliminate immigration detention.” The plan would make exceptions for immigrants who present a risk to public safety or who are deemed unlikely to report for a court date.

How would it work?

Booker would phase out the use of private detention centers over a three-year period. The move would greatly reduce detention space, since for-profit companies operated roughly two-thirds of all beds in 2015, according to a report last year by the non-partisan Migration Policy Institute. Booker also proposes winding down detention contracts with state and county jails over the same three-year period.

Under Booker’s plan, most immigrants would be monitored using “alternatives to detention.“ Immigration and Customs Enforcement currently uses various detention alternatives in a limited manner, including ankle bracelets, bonds, and check-ins Continue reading “How Cory Booker would ‘virtually eliminate’ immigration detention”

Trump’s border protection chief to resign


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Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner John Sanders is resigning amid heightened scrutiny over the administration’s treatment of migrant children detained in facilities along the southern border.

Sanders’ exit, which he confirmed Tuesday in an email to CBP employees, marks the latest high-profile departure at President Donald Trump’s Department of Homeland Security. It creates a new leadership vacuum atop the nation’s chief border enforcement agency as it struggles to quell a surge in Central American migrants entering the U.S. through Mexico.

“As some of you are aware, yesterday I offered my resignation to Secretary McAleenan, effective Friday, July 5,” Sanders wrote in his staff-wide email.

“In that letter, I quoted a wise man who said to me, ‘each man will judge their success by their own metrics,’” he continued. “Although I will leave it to you to determine whether I was successful, I can unequivocally say that helping support Continue reading “Trump’s border protection chief to resign”

Senate Appropriations Committee approves $4.6B for border


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The Senate Appropriations Committee today approved a $4.6 billion spending bill to respond to an influx of Central American families and children at the southwest border.

The measure passed with a 30-1 vote, with only Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) opposed.

The bulk of the funds — $2.9 billion — would fund the Health and Human Services Department’s program to house and care for unaccompanied children, according to a Republican summary. In addition, it would devote $793 million to improve conditions at Customs and Border Protection processing centers and border stations.

Arrests along the U.S.-Mexico border — a metric used to determine illegal crossings — have skyrocketed in recent months. The influx has stretched the resources of federal immigration officials, and lawmakers from both parties have referred to it as a humanitarian crisis.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told “Fox & Friends”Monday that he will Continue reading “Senate Appropriations Committee approves $4.6B for border”

Mexican official claims gains in U.S. border enforcement


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A senior Mexican official sought Monday to portray the U.S.-Mexico agreement to reduce northward Central American migration as an overnight success, asserting that border crossings had fallen by nearly half a mere 10 days after the countries issued a joint declaration.

But U.S. Customs and Border Protection didn’t immediately confirm that figure, and a Mexican press aide later conceded that the official may have been talking about one single-day drop.

The Mexican official, who briefed reporters in Washington, said U.S. Border Patrol arrested 2,600 people per day after the agreement was struck on June 7. That would be a steep drop from the daily average of 4,300 border arrests in May.

“We have information … that the numbers of people arriving to the southern border of the U.S. are diminishing," the official said at the news conference. "One example is, they were arriving around 4,500 to Continue reading “Mexican official claims gains in U.S. border enforcement”

Trump says former ICE official Homan will be ‘border czar’


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President Donald Trump said Friday that he will name former acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas Homan to become “border czar.”

Trump made the comment during a lengthy phone interview on “Fox & Friends.”

“Tom Homan’s coming back,” Trump said. “He’s going to be very much involved with the border.”

The White House for months has weighed the possibility of creating a “czar” position to coordinate immigration issues across various federal agencies. Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli reportedly was considered for the role, but instead became acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director.

“He’ll be reporting directly to me,” Trump said of Homan. “He’ll be probably be working out of the White House but spending a lot of time at the border.”

Homan could not immediately be reached for comment.

The possibility that Homan could rejoin the Trump administration follows a shakeup at Continue reading “Trump says former ICE official Homan will be ‘border czar’”

How Kamala Harris would provide citizenship to Dreamers


This post is by Ted Hesson from Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories


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What would the plan do?

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) released a plan Wednesday that would use executive authority to offer deportation relief to an estimated 6 million undocumented immigrants and a path to citizenship to some Dreamers brought to the U.S. as children.

How would it work?

Harris would reinstate and expand the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which grants deportation relief and work permits to Dreamers. Trump moved to terminate the program in 2017, but federal courts have blocked his planned phaseout.

Harris would use “parole” authority to allow Dreamers with U.S.-citizen spouses to apply for permanent residency and eventual citizenship. She also would issue a regulation that clarified that Dreamers were not at fault for their lack of legal status, which can be a roadblock to permanent residency.

In addition, Harris would offer deportation relief to undocumented immigrant parents of U.S. Continue reading “How Kamala Harris would provide citizenship to Dreamers”

Why Trump’s migration deal with Mexico could fail


This post is by Ted Hesson from Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories


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President Donald Trump’s deal with Mexico faces such huge logistical hurdles that neither country may be able to carry out its promises.

One key part of the deal is Mexico’s agreement to deploy its newly formed national guard to intercept and possibly deport migrants who cross its southern border. But Mexico may not have that force trained and ready to deal with a population of asylum seekers.

The deal will also expand the Trump administration’s policy of keeping migrants waiting in Mexico while their asylum applications are processed in the U.S. But Mexico is already struggling to handle more than 11,000 migrants who the U.S. has dumped back into that country since Trump rolled out the program in January.

Neither the U.S. nor Mexico has offered a detailed plan for how the counter-migration strategy will be implemented, even as both countries face a tight timeline to produce Continue reading “Why Trump’s migration deal with Mexico could fail”

Why Trump’s migration deal with Mexico could fail


This post is by Ted Hesson from Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





President Donald Trump’s deal with Mexico faces such huge logistical hurdles that neither country may be able to carry out its promises.

One key part of the deal is Mexico’s agreement to deploy its newly formed national guard to intercept and possibly deport migrants who cross its southern border. But Mexico may not have that force trained and ready to deal with a population of asylum seekers.

The deal will also expand the Trump administration’s policy of keeping migrants waiting in Mexico while their asylum applications are processed in the U.S. But Mexico is already struggling to handle more than 11,000 migrants who the U.S. has dumped back into that country since Trump rolled out the program in January.

Neither the U.S. nor Mexico has offered a detailed plan for how the counter-migration strategy will be implemented, even as both countries face a tight timeline to produce Continue reading “Why Trump’s migration deal with Mexico could fail”

Pompeo defends immigration deal with Mexico


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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday batted down criticism of a recent deal struck between U.S. and Mexican officials to stem the northward flow of migrants.

“I’ve seen some reporting that says that these countless hours were nothing, that they amounted to a waste of time,” Pompeo said at a press briefing in Foggy Bottom. “I can tell you that the team here at the State Department believes full-throatedly that this is an important set of agreements.”

Pompeo participated in bilateral negotiations last week that sought to avert President Donald Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on Mexico unless the country stepped up immigration enforcement.

The two sides reached an agreement Friday that led Trump to suspend the tariffs threat — but appeared to break little new ground.

The two core tenets of a joint statement released on Friday involved Mexico’s deployment of 6,000 National Guard members and Continue reading “Pompeo defends immigration deal with Mexico”

Cuccinelli starts as acting immigration official despite GOP opposition


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Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli joined U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Monday as acting director, according to an announcement by acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan.

The appointment places an immigration hard-liner atop the agency charged with facilitating the country’s legal immigration system. The move follows the departure of Francis Cissna, the Senate-confirmed former director who was swept out last month as part of a broader reboot at the Homeland Security Department.

“Our nation has the most generous legal immigration system in the world and we must zealously safeguard its promise for those who lawfully come here,” Cuccinelli said in a written statement. “I look forward to working with the men and women of USCIS to ensure our legal immigration system operates effectively and efficiently while deterring fraud and protecting the American people.”

USCIS said in the announcement Monday that Cuccinelli would become acting director, but did Continue reading “Cuccinelli starts as acting immigration official despite GOP opposition”

Border arrests rose to 132,000 in May as surge continues


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The number of migrants arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border soared to nearly 133,000 in May, according to statistics released Wednesday by Customs and Border Protection.

The latest figures will keep pressure on Congress to deal with a surge of Central American migrants who have arrived at the border in recent months.

In response to the influx, the Trump administration has urged lawmakers to approve a $4.5 billion supplemental funding request that would cover housing for unaccompanied minors and detention for single adults, among other expenses.

Border arrests — a rough proxy for illegal crossings — have risen in recent months to levels on par with the higher-traffic decades of the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s. President Donald Trump and his top officials have argued the surge has overwhelmed federal authorities and created a humanitarian and security crisis.

Democratic leaders have blamed the Trump administration for mismanagement, citing Continue reading “Border arrests rose to 132,000 in May as surge continues”

Democrat-led House passes Dreamers bill in rebuttal to Trump


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The House passed legislation Tuesday to provide a path to citizenship for Dreamers brought to the United States as children.

The bill — dubbed the Dream and Promise Act, H.R. 6 (116) — was approved, 237-187, along largely partisan lines. Nearly all Democrats voted for the legislation, with five not voting. The Democratic majority was joined by seven Republicans.

In the closing minutes of the vote, several hundred pro-migrant attendees in the House gallery erupted in chants of “Sí, se puede“ and “Yes, we can“ — a familiar rallying cry of the immigrant rights movement.

The bill is the House Democratic majority’s answer to President Donald Trump’s hard-line immigration agenda. Trump and his top officials have pressed Congress, unsuccessfully, in recent months for billions to build a border wall, and changes to asylum and detention laws to discourage the arrival of migrants from Central America.

The Dream Continue reading “Democrat-led House passes Dreamers bill in rebuttal to Trump”