64 Items

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Analysis & Opinions - San Diego Union-Tribune

What U.S. can do to reduce, deter illegal migration

| Nov. 21, 2018

President Donald Trump has talked tough on border security and immigration enforcement, with extreme rhetoric and harsh actions. Yet his administration has not materially changed the situation at the southwest border.

As measured by apprehensions of those who cross illegally, the southwest border today looks similar to what it was under the Obama administration. In fiscal year 2017, President Trump’s first year, the U.S. Border Patrol apprehended 310,531 people. Apprehensions were up in fiscal year 2018 to 396,579. By comparison, apprehensions during the Obama administration’s last six years ranged from 340,252 to 486,651. President Trump’s numbers are toward the lower end, but they are not materially different.

His failure to drive down the number of unauthorized migrants results from policy prescriptions that are not grounded in the reality attendant to illegal crossing. To the contrary, the administration’s policies — zero tolerance, troops at the border, prohibiting asylum claims — have been geared to stir political effects not achieve operational results.

There are effective steps that can be taken to further reduce and deter illegal migration. Migrants continue to arrive at the border because they succeed in entering the country in a legal way by claiming asylum, establishing credible fear (a low standard), and then being granted entry to await immigration proceedings. These proceedings, however, occur years later because of a hopelessly backlogged immigration court system.

The immigration courts require an infusion of resources to hire more judges and expand capacity so that cases can be fairly resolved in weeks — not years. Since the majority of cases that go to a decision result in a denial of asylum, fair but expedited proceedings would create an effective deterrent to irregular migration. The costs of undertaking a dangerous journey more likely than not to end in deportation would close the loophole that is the essence of the illegal migration problem today. The president’s current gambit of restricting asylum by executive decree, by contrast, is both legally questionable and does not address the underlying court-capacity problem.

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Analysis & Opinions - Forbes

Now That The Democrats Have Won The House, Who Will They Investigate And How?

| Nov. 07, 2018

With the Democrats’ capture of a House majority in the November 6 midterm elections, Washington will look very different next year. Although the Democrats’ ability to implement their policy agenda will be limited by a Republican-controlled Senate and White House, the House Judiciary Committee and other investigative committees are expected to launch vigorous oversight and investigations into executive branch activities and even private industry as well.

Why do the Democrats need a majority to do it? First, only the majority party can schedule congressional hearings. Second, in the House only committee chairpersons have subpoena power, which comes in two flavors: demands for witnesses to testify and demands for documents.

With the power of the majority, Democrats are expected to focus on several issues including protecting Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference with the 2016 election, alleged violations of government ethics by executive branch officials, and the president’s personal business dealings. Also expect the Democrats to focus on certain public policy issues such as health care.

Don’t expect the Trump administration to roll over and give House Democrats everything they want.  Just because Congress asks for documents or witnesses doesn’t mean they will get them quickly, or even at all. Congressional requests and subpoenas often lead to public and private showdowns between Congress and the executive branch until both sides arrive at an agreement. Administrations often want to appear cooperative without getting hauled before Congress to answer questions publicly. Administrations are also loath to turn over documents that may reveal internal deliberations, especially if those documents reveal embarrassing facts—or worse.

A makeshift memorial on Saturday outside the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, where 11 people were fatally shot on Oct. 27. (Keith Srakocic/AP)

Keith Srakocic/AP

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

We’ve declared war on foreign terrorism. Why not do the same for domestic threats?

| Nov. 05, 2018

In the span of a week, our nation experienced a torrent of hate-fueled attacks: the slaying of two African Americans in a Kentucky supermarket , the  mail-bomb assassination attempts and the mass slaying in a Pittsburgh synagogue . These attacks tragically demonstrate that domestic terrorism is on the rise as political polarization and hateful echo chambers on social media radicalize people.

As we mourn those who died in Kentucky and Pittsburgh, we should recognize that such tragedies highlight a dangerous counterterrorism gap that has developed over time: an insufficient focus by the federal government on the threat of domestic terrorism.

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Analysis & Opinions - The Hill

The Looming Border Clash Over Canadian Marijuana

| Oct. 02, 2018

Canada’s national legalization of marijuana has put it at odds with the United States where, despite growing state-level legalization, marijuana remains strictly illegal at the federal level. It was inevitable that the different approaches to marijuana would create friction between the two countries. It appears increasingly likely that this friction will be felt most acutely at the border.

Mexican presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the Democratic Revolution Party shows his election ink-stained thumb after casting his vote at a polling station in Mexico City on Sunday, July 1, 2012.

AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo

Analysis & Opinions - El Universal

Border Police, an Opportunity for AMLO

| Aug. 16, 2018

The security situation in Mexico remains poor, with the country experiencing renewed violence at unacceptable levels. 2017 was among the most violent in Mexico’s history, and the violence has continued through this year. The large-scale breakdown of law-and-order helped propel Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) to Mexico’s presidency. Although how precisely AMLO intends to restore public safety remains generally unclear, one early proposal is quite promising for both Mexico and the United States.