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Trump Considering Ending DACA Program

September 4, 2017 by Gail Nussbaum in News and Media

Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services León Rodríguez and Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas deliver remarks during the four-year anniversary of President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals initiative. Under DACA, eligible individuals who pass a background check and meet specific age, education, and U.S. residency requirements, are granted a temporary reprieve from deportation and are eligible to receive a renewable two-year work permit. Official DHS photo by Jetta Disco.

It seems likely that President Trump will announce a roll back of the President Obama era DACA program, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals that was enacted by executive order in June 2012.

A rescinding of the program is in keeping with Trump’s campaign promises of cracking down on illegal immigration, and is expected to meet with support from his most loyal supporters. An outcry, however, is expected, as DACA is considered a good solution for people, known as ‘dreamers,’ to continue contributing to society and not punishing them for being brought to the US illegally as young children.

It is expected that there will be at least a six-month lag time between the announcement of DACA’s nullification and the actual expiration of the program, a period of time that many supporters of the program hope congress will take advantage of to enact legislation achieving the same goals as DACA.

It is estimated that 800,000 undocumented immigrants are benefiting from DACA, which has been a popular program among Democrats, with most Republicans accepting it as a compromise between a humanitarian response to the predicament of innocent people who were brought to the US against their will, and a strict rendering of immigration laws. Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah and Republican Congressman and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan of Wisconsin both warned not to nix DACA.

Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, would like to see Congress pass a law which will protect the “Dreamers.”

“My hope is that as part of this process we can work on a way to deal with this issue and solve it through legislation, which is the right way to do it and the constitutional way to do it,” Rubio said to CNN last June.

No Tit for Tat Say Northeastern Lawmakers

August 30, 2017 by Dan Kazan in News and Media

NJ Gov Chris Christie

Despite Texas lawmaker’s negative response to giving aid to the northeastern states hard-hit by Hurricane Sandy in the fall of 2012, northeastern representatives will vote for aid to Texas after the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey.

During the days after the destruction of Superstorm Sandy, Texas Republicans were almost completely united in their stand to vote against a funding bill for billions of dollars in aid to those hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy, one of the worst storms in US history, in terms of damage caused. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas claimed the funding was “a Christmas tree” which included billions of dollars in “extraneous goodies.”

Republicans from New Jersey and New York still remember the pain the disapproval caused, but have decided to vote for a massive aid package anyway, possible embarrassing Texas lawmakers.

“The congressional members in Texas are hypocrites, and I said back in 2012 they’d be proven to be hypocrites. It was just a matter of time,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said on Monday. “We were the disaster that was the longest in waiting in terms of federal aid, and I hope that’s not what happens to the folks in Texas.”

This is a clear example of why disaster relief has traditionally been a bi-partisan issue. No one knows when his district will be the one needing the aid, so how can a lawmaker vote against aid for anyone else, when next time it can easily be you?

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, New Jersey Representative Frank LoBiondo, New York Representative Peter King, and Representative Jim Himes of Connecticut, all expressed their intention to vote for aid to Texas even though Ted Cruz and others from Texas were willing to withhold aid from them in 2012.

Its still too early to know what Texas and surrounding areas will need to help recover from the unprecedented flooding caused by Harvey. But it is clear the bill will pass with votes from those who say they do not hold a grudge.

Trump Calls CNN Reporter “Fake News”

August 15, 2017 by Dan Kazan in News and Media

Jim Acosta speaking at a campaign rally for Donald Trump at the South Point Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore.

Last week President Donald Trump promised reporters that he would hold a “pretty big” news conference when he returned to Washington, DC after his “working vacation” at a golf course in New Jersey.

Trump made the promise last Friday, saying that he would hold the news conference when he announced a call for an investigation into China’s questionable practices towards intellectual property rights. Instead of the announcement and the conference Trump condemned violence from the White House in the wake of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that resulted in the death of three people.

During a different event on Monday in which Trump signed a memorandum which launched the trade investigation, there was still no sign of a news conference.

Jim Acosta, a reporter for CNN, asked President Trump why he did not mention the hate groups by name in his condemnation over the weekend. Trump’s answer was:

“They’ve been condemned. They have been condemned.”

Acosta then asked the President why no press conference had taken place as had been promised at the end of last week. Trump’s answer: “We had a press conference. We just had a press conference.”

Not letting Trump off so easily, Acosta asked another question: whether the press corps could ask him more questions. Trump replied that more questions would not bother him “at all.”

“But, you know, I like real news, not fake news,” Trump told Acosta as the president pointed toward the CNN reporter. “You’re fake news.”

Cycle of Retaliation?

August 7, 2017 by Dan Kazan in News and Media

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson delivers remarks at a press availability, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC., April 19, 2017.

When it was definitively proven that Russia interfered in the presidential elections of 2016, an appropriate retaliatory response was developed in Congress by both Houses. In a bi-partisan and overwhelming vote of 98-2 by the Senate and 419-3 in the House, US lawmakers decided to punish Russia with sanctions that take aim at Russia’s energy and defense sectors.

Seriously peeved, Russia decided to enact its own punishing edict against the United States, ordering 755 members of the American diplomatic team to remove themselves from Russian soil.

In response to the Russian demand, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that he will be taking a course of action to retaliate. What that action will be has not yet been decided, but Tillerson promises it will be announced before September 1.

Tillerson met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergy Lavrov in the Philippines on Sunday morning before his announcement that he was planning an answer to the Russian eviction of US embassy staff. The secretary said that the Russians have expressed interest in ending violence now going on in Eastern Ukraine, where Russian troops have been stationed ever since the 2014 revolution that overthrew the pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych.