The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Brian Bennett, Tribune Washington Bureau (MCT)

WASHINGTON — Shortly before President Barack Obama left for Asia last weekend, aides gave him an ambitious list of potential actions he could order to change the enforcement of federal immigration laws without congressional approval.

Aides said Obama will get final recommendations from his aides as early as next Tuesday, and will make his decision — and an announcement — before the end of December.

He could decide to protect as many as 5 million immigrants who are in the country illegally from possible deportation.

Whatever he decides is likely to enrage Republicans, who warned after last week’s midterm elections that any executive action on immigration would “poison the well” on cooperation with the new GOP-led Congress.

Obama told a news conference after the elections that he would announce some changes before the end of the year.

The package under consideration is likely to touch many parts of the immigration system.

It includes tweaks to how work visas are awarded, new instructions on who should be detained for violating immigration law, and pay raises for immigration officers, according to a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

The biggest impact is expected to come from a proposed program that could allow some of the estimated 11 million people in the country illegally to come forward, pay a fee and submit to a background check in exchange for a work permit and a temporary reprieve from deportation, the official said.

That initiative would be similar to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which was created by Obama in 2012 and has so far granted work permits to more than 680,000 people who were brought to the country illegally as children. Those who are approved for deferred action are protected from being expelled from the United States for two years, and the deferrals can be renewed.

Obama is still deciding how far to expand the deferred action program.

Some aides are pushing him to include parents of children who are U.S. citizens, as well as parents of DACA recipients who have been in the country for several years.

If Obama agrees, as many as 5 million people could be eligible to apply under those two categories.

But that number could be pared down if additional requirements, such as proof of a 10-year presence in the U.S., are added.

AFP Photo/Mandel Ngan

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Mark Levin

Politico reported Friday that John Eastman, the disgraced ex-law professor who formulated many of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, was also apparently in communication with Fox News host Mark Levin. The story gets even more interesting from there, revealing the shell game that right-wing media personalities engage in while doubling as political operatives.

A legal filing by Eastman’s attorneys reveals that, among the messages Eastman is still attempting to conceal from the House January 6 committee are 12 pieces of correspondence with an individual matching Levin’s description as “a radio talk show host, is also an attorney, former long-time President (and current board chairman) of a public interest law firm, and also a former fellow at The Claremont Institute.” Other details, including a sloppy attempt to redact an email address, also connect to Levin, who did not respond to Politico’s requests for comment.

Keep reading... Show less

Sen. Wendy Rogers

Youtube Screenshot

There have been powerful indicators of the full-bore radicalization of the Republican Party in the past year: the 100-plus extremist candidates it fielded this year, the apparent takeover of the party apparatus in Oregon, the appearance of Republican officials at white nationalist gatherings. All of those are mostly rough gauges or anecdotal evidence, however; it’s been difficult to get a clear picture of just how deeply the extremism has penetrated the party.

Using social media as a kind of proxy for their real-world outreach—a reasonable approach, since there are few politicians now who don’t use social media—the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights decided to get a clearer picture of the reach of extremist influences in official halls of power by examining how many elected officials participate in extremist Facebook groups. What it found was deeply troubling: 875 legislators in all 50 states, constituting nearly 22% of all elected GOP lawmakers, identified as participating members of extremist Facebook groups.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}