immigration

Podcast: Why Congress Has a Russia Problem
CQ on Congress, Episode 112

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at joint press conference after their summit in Helsinki, Finland. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Senate Democrats Question ICE Arrests of Spouses of U.S. Citizens
Cite examples of separations at USCIS offices

Sen. Robert Menendez has led a letter questioning immigration enforcement practices. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Some Senate Democrats are alarmed by what may be a pattern of ICE making arrests when immigrants are conducting routine business at citizenship and immigration services offices.

In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and the acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement chief Ronald Vitiello, a group of 10 Senate Democrats cited examples of married couples being separated at USCIS facilities when one partner may not have legal status but the other member of the couple is an American citizen.

Rep. Maxine Waters Warns Supporters Not to Confront Militia Group
Oath Keepers, an armed far-right group, plans to protest Waters for weeks in her California district

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., urged her supporters to stay away from the Oath Keepers, a far right armed group that is planning a protest at her Los Angeles office on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Maxine Waters of California warned her supporters not to be baited into a confrontation with a a far-right militia group planning a protest at her South-Central Los Angeles office Thursday.

The Oath Keepers, which claims 35,000 members who often dress in military gear and carry military-grade rifles at protests and events across the country, issued a “call to action” for Thursday to protest Waters’ “incitement of terrorism” and Democrats’ opposition to Republican immigration policies.

Democratic Leaders Urge ‘Present’ Vote on ICE Resolution
Republicans want to divide Democrats, but it might not work

Hundreds of women crowd the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building to protest Trump’s immigration policy on June 28. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats know Republicans are looking to divide their caucus by holding a vote Wednesday on a resolution that rejects calls to completely abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. They say they aren’t going to play the GOP’s political game.

Democratic leaders are not formally whipping for or against the resolution, but are urging their members to reject what they say is a political stunt by Republicans and vote “present,” according to a Democratic leadership aide.

House To Vote Wednesday on Resolution to Support ICE
Plan to vote on bill to terminate ICE dropped after Democrats said they’d oppose it

The House will vote Wednesday on a resolution by Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., expressing the chamber’s support for ICE officials and rejection of calls to abolish the agency. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans have abandoned a plan to vote on a Democrat-sponsored bill to terminate the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency after the bill’s authors said they and their colleagues would vote against it.

But GOP leaders are still planning to hold a vote on a resolution by Louisiana GOP Rep. Clay Higgins expressing the House’s support for all ICE officers and personnel and denouncing calls to completely abolish the agency.

Republicans Put Immigration Divisions on Hold for ICE Messaging Votes
GOP members still want to vote on family reunification, agriculture guest worker program

Immigration has bedeviled Speaker Paul D. Ryan and House Republicans, but they will push messaging votes on it either this week or next. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lacking a unified strategy on most immigration policy, Republicans are looking to temporarily set aside their differences and highlight an issue that has divided Democrats. 

GOP leaders are planning two votes this week or next related to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which some Democrats say they want to abolish.

GOP Messaging Vote on Democrats’ ‘Abolish ICE’ Bill Set to Backfire
Democrats prepared to vote ‘no’ and make debate about family separations

From left, Reps. Luis V. Gutiérrez, D-Ill., Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., John Lewis, D-Ga., Judy Chu, D-Calif., Al Green, D-Texas, Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., and others march in Washington on June 13 to protest the Trump administration’s family separation policy at the southern border. Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., appears in the back at center. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republican leaders are planning a vote this month on a progressive bill to terminate the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, but their plan to put Democrats on record on an issue that divides the minority party looks like it will backfire. 

Democrats say they’ll make the debate about families that have been separated at the border — an issue that needs a permanent legislative fix that Republicans do not yet have a solution for that can pass the House.

Marc Short Creates Another Void in the White House
Trump has ‘highest turnover of top-tier staff of any recent president,’ professor says

Marc Short, White House legislative affairs director, outside the Senate Republican policy lunches in the Capitol in January. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

White House legislative affairs director Marc Short will leave his post this summer after helping President Donald Trump secure tax cuts, a Supreme Court justice, eliminate part of the Obama-era health law, open the Arctic for energy extraction, and nix a slew of federal regulations.

Short — with his signature shaved head — was the most visible Trump administration official on Capitol Hill, often chatting with reporters as he traversed the hallways going from meetings with leadership and rank-and-file members about the president’s legislative whims and demands. Affable yet firm, Short seemed eager to joust with reporters on cable news, the Hill and even under the blistering summer sun in the White House’s north driveway.

More U.S.-Born Children Could Be Separated From Immigrant Parents
Trump administration wants to terminate TPS status for hundreds of thousands

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., says he wants to protect Temporary Protected Status immigrants who came to the United States legally.  (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As lawmakers try to find a legislative solution to keep immigrant families together at the U.S.-Mexico border, an even bigger family separation challenge looms next year when thousands of parents with temporary residency status will face deportation and separation from their U.S.-born children.

The Trump administration has said it will terminate so-called Temporary Protected Status for nearly 60,000 Haitians in July 2019, more than 262,000 Salvadorans in September 2019 and 57,000 Hondurans in January 2020.

$177.1 Billion Labor-HHS-Education Moves Forward With Family Separation Changes
House Appropriations has approved 11 of 12 fiscal 2019 spending measures

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., wants the Labor-HHS-Education bill linked to the Defense bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Appropriations Committee late Wednesday evening approved, 30-22, a $177.1 billion fiscal 2019 bill to fund the departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services.

The committee has now approved 11 of its 12 fiscal 2019 spending measures, following the marathon 13-hour markup of the massive nondefense bill that left lawmakers from both parties exasperated at various points. The debate covered family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border, gun research funding, abstinence-only sex education and thorny political issues around religious adoption agencies.