Category Archives: Mexico Border

GOP train wreck on immigration coming next week

The other day I told you that the House schedules vote on two DACA bills destined to fail:

So now we have the hardline Goodlatte-MsSally bill from the GOP House Freedom Caucus, which does not have the votes to pass Congress, and a so-called GOP moderate bill still being drafted that will fall far short of the Dream Act and the bipartisan measure that couples a path to citizenship for Dreamers with beefed-up border security.

House Republicans have released a first draft of their new “compromise” immigration bill, the “Border Security and Immigration Reform Act.”

The nearly 300-page bill is one of two that the entire House will vote on next week. It is considered a GOP “moderate” alternative to the GOP conservative bill proposed by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA).

Riiight.

The New York Times reports, House Immigration Bill, Pitched as Compromise, Tilts to a Harder Line:

The draft bill, circulating among lawmakers on Thursday afternoon and up for a vote next week, closely adheres to President Trump’s vision for an immigration overhaul. In addition to protecting the young immigrants, it provides billions of dollars for a wall on the southwest border while imposing new limits on legal immigration.

The bill would also toughen rules for asylum seekers. And it would address the separation of children from parents under the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal border crossings by mandating that families be kept together while in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security, according to a summary of the measure.

In effect, the measure would offer Democrats and immigration moderates in the Republican Party a difficult choice: accept hard-line changes to much of the immigration system in exchange for protections for young undocumented immigrants and what appears to be a modification of the wrenching policy of splitting up families at the border.

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Dr. Bradley Hughes Calls for a Progressive New Deal Program to LD 21

AZ LD 21 House Candidate Dr. Bradley Hughes

Over Iced Coffee at Lolas Café in Phoenix (The Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies are great), Dr. Bradley Hughes outlined his views to bring a pragmatic problem solving progressive New Deal program to the residents of Arizona LD 21.

Arizona Legislative District 21 includes all or parts of Peoria, El Mirage, Youngtown, Surprise, and Sun City. It is the district that Debbie Lesko used as a springboard to run for Congress in the recent special election against Dr. Hiral Tipirneni.

Republicans have dominated the district since 2012 with no elected Democrats. Dr. Hughes hopes to change that in 2018 by focusing on a pragmatic progressive program that addresses issues such as health care costs (especially for those that do not qualify for health care subsidies,) “stagnant wages,” and public education.

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Pawlik and Weichert Offer a Progressive Problem Solving Vision for LD 17

AZ LD 17 State House Candidate Jennifer Pawlik

Over iced tea and ice water at the Starbucks in Chandler, LD 17 Democratic House Candidate Jennifer Pawlik and LD 17 Democratic Senate Candidate Steve Weichert enthusiastically discussed their united vision for taking care of children in poverty, who have been largely forgotten by the current Republican LD state representatives and senator.

The LD 17 District in Arizona contains parts of Gilbert, Chandler, and Sun Lakes. No Democrat has ever claimed victory in this district. Two Republicans in the State House currently represent it. This includes the current House Speaker J.D. Mesnard who has decided to run against Weichert for the State Senate Seat being vacated by State Senate President Steven Yarbrough. Pawlik is the only Democrat running for a seat in the State House.

Arizona Legislative District 17

Arizona Legislative District 17

Pawlik and Weichert are not newcomers to the political arena in Legislative District 17. They ran for the same state legislative seats in 2016 that they are running for today. While the results did not turn out as they hoped in 2016, they feel that three trends will propel them to victory in 2018:

  • The marked increase in voter enthusiasm, ignited by the election of Donald Trump.
  • The insensitivity of the Ducey Governorship and his allies in the state legislature.
  • The spark of the Red for Ed Movement.

Like neighboring LD 18, the Democratic candidates and District Chair Jacob Schmitt see their electoral prospects improving with an increasingly bluer (or purple) population receptive to the centrist problem solving progressive ideas and vision that they offer. Both Pawlik and Weichert have united as a team, tailoring their message to all the people in LD 17, especially those ignored and forgotten by the current Republican leadership in the district who has fallen under the influence of anti-democratic, tax cutting, special and Dark Money interests.

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Decision day for DACA discharge petition (or maybe not)

First, Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III Says Domestic and Gang Violence Are No Longer Grounds for Asylum:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday made it all but impossible for asylum seekers to gain entry into the United States by citing fears of domestic abuse or gang violence, in a ruling that could have a broad effect on the flow of migrants from Central America.

Mr. Sessions’s decision in a closely watched domestic violence case is the latest turn in a long-running debate over what constitutes a need for asylum. He reversed an immigration appeals court ruling that granted it to a Salvadoran woman who said she had been sexually, emotionally and physically abused by her husband.

Mr. Sessions’s decision overturns a precedent set during the Obama administration that allowed more women to claim credible fears of domestic abuse and will make it harder for such arguments to prevail in immigration courts. He said the Obama administration created “powerful incentives” for people to “come here illegally and claim a fear of return.”

Today the Immigration Discharge Petition Deadline Arrives, Signature Completion Likely:

The immigration discharge petition signature deadline has arrived. All signs point to the petition reaching the required 218 signatures by the end of the day, but negotiations are continuing in an effort to block it from forcing a vote.

The discharge petition, led by moderate Republicans, is designed to bypass House leadership and force a floor vote on a series of controversial immigration bills to protect so-called Dreamers, young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

The petition is on a “queen of the hill” rule that would set up votes on four immigration measures, with the one receiving the most votes above a simple majority prevailing. It currently has 215 signatures, just three short of what’s needed to force a floor vote June 25.

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ACLU case against Trump’s zero tolerance immigration policy can proceed

Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) tried to visit an immigration detention facility in Brownsville, Texas on Sunday, but was denied access into the building. Sen. Jeff Merkley denied entry into one migrant detention facility, claims he saw kids caged in another:

This prompted a letter and 19 questions from Sen. Merkley to the Office of Refugee Resettlement about what’s going on behind closed doors at some of the country’s detention facilities amid concerns about the separation of children from their parents who have attempted to cross the border illegally.See the letter and all 19 questions. The senator requested a response by June 15.

Merkley live-streamed his arrival at a detention facility run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement in Brownsville, Texas on Sunday, which he said was housing children who had been separated from their families at the border. During Merkley’s live stream, the senator introduced himself to guards outside the building, identifying himself as a member of Congress and asking for permission to enter. The windows at the facility appeared to be blacked out.

“I was barred entry,” Merkley said. “Asked repeatedly to speak to a supervisor — he finally came out and said he can’t tell us anything. Police were called on us,” he added in a tweet.

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“I wanted to be able to visit the facility where apparently upwards of 1,000 children are being held in that massive building, a former Walmart, and the federal government, President Trump and team, Attorney General Sessions, Homeland Security, they do not want members of Congress or the public to know what’s going on,” Merkley later told CNN in a phone interview on Monday.

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GOP fails to agree to DACA fix, June 12 deadline for discharge petition

House Republicans held a two-hour conference meeting Thursday morning on immigration, to determine the fate of moderate members’ efforts to force a vote on several immigration bills. Today was supposed to be the deadline for House leadership to put up or shut up.

And yet, The Hill reports that House Speaker Paul Ryan is kicking the can down the road with yet another delay. GOP staves off immigration revolt — for now:

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Thursday tamped down a Republican insurrection on immigration — at least temporarily — with vows to “put pen to paper” on a compromise bill to protect the young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers.

During a two-hour, closed-door meeting in the basement of the Capitol, Ryan and other GOP leaders urged their troops not to endorse a procedural move to force votes on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — known as a discharge petition — and instead give leaders more time to forge a compromise that can win 218 Republican votes.

“The next step is to start putting pen to paper and get legislation to the floor,” the Wisconsin Republican told reporters afterwards.

The promise seems to have bought them some time in their search for an elusive DACA deal that can win the support of centrist immigration reformers and conservative hardliners. Indeed, several moderates who have remained open to signing the petition said after the meeting that they’ll refrain from doing so while GOP leaders seek a compromise.

“We’ve still got time, there’s a general outline and they’re putting pen to paper,” said Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), who said he’s waiting to see the details of the bill before making a decision about the petition.

“Today’s not the deadline.”

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