Immigration

House GOP Makes Little Progress on Immigration

Playbook: “The push to craft a GOP immigration bill in the House is not going well, to say the least. The GOP leadership — including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — hosted a meeting yesterday between moderates and conservatives in the Capitol to try to craft a compromise to avoid a wide-ranging, bipartisan immigration debate that would come to the floor this month.”

“We spoke to a bunch of people after the meeting, who tell us this surprising nugget: the pathway to citizenship is not the thorniest issue at the moment. Interior enforcement — and how far Republicans should go on that front — is a big point of disagreement. That’s not to say the other items are all solved.”

“Meanwhile, the discharge petition is really spooking Republican leadership at the moment. The prospect that the Dream Act could pass the House a few months before the election could deeply split the leadership.”

Bill Introduced to Stop Separation of Families

“Senate Democrats have introduced legislation to prevent the separation of immigrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border in an attempt to push back against the Trump administration,” The Hill reports.

Said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): “The United States must not be a country that traumatizes young children by separating them from their parents… Congress has a moral obligation to take a stand and say that families should not be forcibly separated.”

House GOP Leaders Try to Quell Rebellion

Playbook: “House Republicans, facing an immigration revolt from both poles of their conference, will meet this morning in the basement of the Capitol to try to settle some of the most nettlesome migrant policies that have felled party leaders for more than a half-dozen years.”

“Republican leaders are looking to wrestle back control of the House floor, by orchestrating a series of GOP immigration votes that relegates the so-called discharge petition to the dustbin. In short: Republican leaders want the power of their majority back.”

“Meetings with upwards of 230 members of Congress, dozens of aides and a hallway full of reporters waiting to pounce are typically not fruitful or helpful. Gatherings of this nature typically devolve into hours of grandstanding and screaming matches.”

Border Arrests Top 50K for Third Straight Month

“U.S. border agents made more than 50,000 arrests in May for the third month in a row… an indication that escalating enforcement tactics by the Trump administration — including separating migrant parents from their children — has not had an immediate deterrent effect,” the Washington Post reports.

“Arrests at the border this spring have jumped to their highest levels since Trump took office, and the reversal has left the president furious at Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and other aides who he believes aren’t doing enough to stop the trend.”

Hundreds of Migrant Kids Separated from Parents

“Border agents and child welfare workers are running out of space to shelter children who have been separated from their parents at the U.S. border as part of the Trump administration’s new ‘zero tolerance’ policy,” NBC News reports.

“As of Sunday, nearly 300 of the 550 children currently in custody at U.S. border stations had spent more than 72 hours there, the time limit for immigrants of any age to be held in the government’s temporary facilities. Almost half of those 300 children are younger than 12.”

House Republicans Careen Toward Immigration Showdown

Playbook: “A petition to force a wide-ranging immigration debate on the House floor stands at 213 — five short of the requisite 218. House Republican leaders have been working feverishly behind the scenes to strike a compromise that would avoid the free-flowing debate, and instead give Republicans a series of circumscribed votes this month. The GOP has scheduled a two-hour policy meeting Thursday to discuss immigration.”

“No matter what happens, these next four weeks will be dominated, in part, by the immigration debate that Congress has been yearning for for the last six years. This could be a defining moment for the GOP, and there is lots of skepticism that this will go smoothly.”

GOP Candidates Echo Trump on Immigration

“Leading Republican candidates are depicting many undocumented immigrants as criminals and endorsing a proposed wall on the Mexican border, adopting President Trump’s hard-line stance and alarming some who fear the GOP is out of step with a rapidly diversifying nation,” the Washington Post reports.

“The party’s increasingly aggressive tone on the issue represents a shift from just two years ago, when many Republican leaders criticized then-candidate Trump’s rhetoric as racially charged and predicted he would alienate Hispanic voters.”

Bannon Predicts Shutdown Before Midterms

Steve Bannon told CNN that he thinks President Trump will force another government shutdown this fall.

Said Bannon: “I believe that what he’s going to do is, as we come up on September 30, if that appropriations bill does not include spending to fully build his wall — not some $1.6 billion for prototypes, I mean to build the southern wall — I believe he will shut down the government.”

He added: “The wall is not just totemic. The wall is absolutely central to his program.”

Trump Wants Faster Deportations, Jailing for Children

President Trump “is pushing changes in immigration laws to make it easier to jail and quickly deport children who cross the border illegally. He also wants to make it harder to pursue asylum,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“To him, these are legal ‘loopholes’ that Congress needs to close to stop illegal immigration. But these proposals are even harder to enact than his controversial border wall, in the face of widespread Democratic and some Republican opposition.”

Immigration Dominates GOP Ads Across the Country

“House Republican candidates are blanketing the airwaves with TV ads embracing a hard line on immigration — a dramatic shift from the midterm elections in 2014,” USA Today reports.

“Republicans have aired more than 14,000 campaign ads touting a tough Trump-style immigration platform this year. The barrage underscores why House GOP leaders worry that passing a legislative fix for undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children, referred to as DREAMers, would put GOP candidates at risk heading into the fall election.”

In contrast, Democrats “bombard voters with ads that promise to protect Obamacare, shore up Social Security and expand Medicare.”

“The competing messages demonstrate how far apart the two parties are. They’re not just talking about issues differently; they’re touting completely different issues to motivate activists and win hotly contested primaries.”

Trump Policy Causing Child Shelters to Fill Up Fast

“The number of migrant children held in U.S. government custody without their parents has surged 21 percent in the past month, according to the latest figures, an increase driven by the Trump administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ crackdown on families who cross the border illegally,” the Washington Post reports.

“Although the government has not disclosed how many children have been separated from their parents as a result of the new measures, the Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday that it had 10,773 migrant children in its custody, up from 8,886 on April 29. … Those shelters are at 95 percent capacity, an HHS official said Tuesday, and the agency is preparing to add potentially thousands of new bed spaces in the coming weeks.”

U.S. to Impose Limits on Some Chinese Visas

“The Trump administration plans to shorten the length of validity for some visas issued to Chinese citizens… as President Donald Trump works to counter alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property by Beijing,” the AP reports.

“According to instructions sent to U.S. embassies and consulates, Chinese graduate students will be limited to one-year visas if they are studying in fields like robotics, aviation and high-tech manufacturing.”

Playbook: “This is the precise opposite position most Republicans have taken for years. Many lawmakers have said if foreign students come here to study math and science, they should staple a green card to their diploma. Why educate people and then ship them out, many have asked.”

Trump Policy Causing Child Shelters to Fill Up Fast

“The number of migrant children held in U.S. government custody without their parents has surged 21 percent in the past month, according to the latest figures, an increase driven by the Trump administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ crackdown on families who cross the border illegally,” the Washington Post reports.

“Although the government has not disclosed how many children have been separated from their parents as a result of the new measures, the Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday that it had 10,773 migrant children in its custody, up from 8,886 on April 29. … Those shelters are at 95 percent capacity, an HHS official said Tuesday, and the agency is preparing to add potentially thousands of new bed spaces in the coming weeks.”