Technology & Innovation

Justice Department Puts Judge in Hot Seat on Migrant Families
‘Are we going to be able to detain alien families together, or are we not?’

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., called current practices at the border not acceptable and prohibited. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A federal judge will determine the fate of a key part of President Donald Trump’s executive order on keeping together migrant families who are detained at the U.S.-Mexico border, a Justice Department official said Wednesday.

Gene Hamilton, counselor to the attorney general, said Judge Dolly Gee of the Central District of California has a “simple decision” when it comes to the Trump administration asking to modify her previous ruling about how the government can detain children.

GOP Chaos, Confusion Ahead of Thursday Immigration Votes
Prospects for passage appeared poor amid haphazard whip effort

Attorney General Jeff Sessions went to the House to ask Republicans to support the immigration bills the chamber will consider Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Confusion and chaos ensued Wednesday as House Republican leaders conducted a haphazard whip effort on a compromise immigration bill they planned to bring to the floor the next day. The prospects for the bill passing were clearly poor.

The frenetic feel of the day was similar to March 23, 2017. House GOP leaders spent that day engulfed in conversations with members as they tried to whip support for their bill to partially repeal and replace the 2010 health care law in an effort to vote on the law’s anniversary.

Analysis: Migrants, ‘Rocket Man’ and Trump’s Ever-Changing Mind
Executive order another contradictory move in an ever-changing presidency

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he arrives at the Capitol for a meeting on immigration with House Republicans on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump is a hardliner. Until he’s not. Donald Trump is open to compromise. Until he’s not.

The president — yet again — on Thursday reversed himself on a major issue by ending his administration’s practice of separating migrant families. In doing so, he bowed to all kinds of pressure: from his wife and daughter, from human rights groups, from Democratic members — and even from his fellow Republicans.

Trump Signs Executive Action Ending Family Separation
ACLU warns president’s action merely replaces ‘one crisis for another’

Central American asylum seekers wait as U.S. Border Patrol agents take groups of them into custody on June 12, 2018, near McAllen, Texas. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Updated 6:57 p.m. | Bowing to public pressure, President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive action ending the practice of separating migrant children from their parents amid a firestorm that saw congressional Republicans break with him.

The president contends Congress must pass legislation addressing the matter for it to be permanently solved given existing laws and court rulings his administration says mandates a process under which migrant children are separated from their parents when caught trying to illegally enter the United States. And it appears families can only be held together for 20 days, unless a federal judge alters a previous ruling placing a limit on detaining migrant families together.

With Family Separation as Backdrop, House Sets in Motion Immigration Votes
Speaker talks up compromise bill as addressing multiple issues in one swoop

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., escorts President Donald Trump to the House Republican caucus meeting in the basement go the Capitol on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 to discuss immigration amid an uproar over family separation at the Southern border. On Thursday, the House will vote on two immigration bills. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As the focus on family separations at the Southern border intensifies, Speaker Paul D. Ryan declined Wednesday to say whether House Republicans would take up standalone legislation to prevent such separations at the border if their broader immigration bill addressing the issue fails.

“Right now we’re focused on passing this bill that’s coming to the floor tomorrow,” the Wisconsin Republican said.

Grimm Compares Migrant Children’s Conditions to ‘Day Care’ Dropoff
Rep. Donovan, who Grimm is challenging for his old seat, also defended family separation policy

Former Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., compared the conditions for migrant children separated from their parents on the border to child day care. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Republican Rep. Michael G. Grimm of New York dismissed the cries of migrant children separated from their families on the border as equivalent to the weeping of kids being dropped off at day care.

“I can take you to any nursery and you’re going to hear the exact same things. As a mother leaves to go to work and has to leave her child at day care, you’re going to hear those exact same things,” Grimm said during an interview with local news media Tuesday.

Man Arrested for Threatening Mast’s Kids Over Immigration Policy
‘If you’re going to separate kids at the border, I’m going to kill his kids,’ caller to congressman’s office says

A man was arrested for threatening to kill the children of Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., center, in response to the White House’s family separation policy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A man from Stuart, Florida, has been arrested after threatening to kill Republican Rep. Brian Mast’s children over President Donald Trump’s family separation policy.

Lawrence Key was arrested after allegedly making a threatening call to Mast’s Washington office on Monday, WPTV reported.

House Immigration Compromise Faces Dim Prospects Amid Conservative Opposition
No compelling case for Freedom Caucus members to vote for it, Meadows says

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is among the conservatives opposed to a compromise immigration bill that President Donald Trump has endorsed and that the House is expected to vote on this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Republican immigration bill negotiated in recent weeks by cross sections of the House GOP Conference faces dim prospects for passage after several conservatives indicated opposition to the measure Tuesday.

House Republican leaders invited President Donald Trump to the Capitol on Tuesday evening to try to sell the legislation to the conference. And while Trump said he supports the compromise measure — along with one by House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte that most conservatives in the conference prefer — it does not appear to have swayed enough conservatives to ensure the bill’s passage.

Capitol Ink | Space Force One

‘Trump Show’ Makes Tour Stop in Capitol Basement
President calls out Mark Sanford, opts against sticking to immigration

Speaker Paul D. Ryan escorts President Donald Trump to the House Republicans’ meeting Tuesday in the Capitol basement. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans might have gone into their Tuesday evening meeting with President Donald Trump expecting a discussion about immigration policy, but what they got was an episode of what might be dubbed “The Trump Show.”

The president did discuss dueling immigration bills crafted by members of the GOP conference. And he urged them to send him a bill that closes what his team dubs “loopholes” that he claims compelled his administration to institute a zero-tolerance program that prosecutes all adult migrants who try to enter the United States illegally, a misdemeanor, even if they arrive with minor children.

Congressional Campaigns Weaponize Family Separation Policy
Democrats hope to bludgeon GOP while vulnerable Republicans try to distance themselves

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, seemingly changed his position on child separation at the U.S.-Mexico border. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Candidates in both parties who are running in tight races want to weaponize the policy of separating child migrants from their parents at the U.S-Mexico border.

In Texas’ Senate race, Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, whose district includes El Paso, staged a march to the border crossing in Tornillo, where children of migrant families from Central America are being held. He was joined by Texas' Democratic candidate for governor Lupe Valdez.

With Immigration Controversy as Backdrop, GOP Senate Candidates Blast Democrats
Candidates in Missouri, West Virginia and Pennsylvania criticize Democratic bill to address separation policy

Patrick Morrisey, who is running against Sen. Joe Manchin III, is using the current immigration controversy to blast his Democratic opponent. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While senators in both parties said Tuesday they want to solve the crisis of parents and children being separated before immigration cases are adjudicated, some Republican Senate candidates are focusing on criticizing Democratic incumbents who have signed on to a legislative fix.

At least three Senate nominees have come out on the attack against a proposal led by Judiciary ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California that would bar parents and children from being separated by the Homeland Security Department except in unusual cases, such as when the parent does not have custodial rights.

Democratic Senators Ask If CFPB Nominee Worked on Immigration Policy Separating Children and Parents
Kathy Kraninger’s role at OMB involves oversight of DHS and Justice

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., wants to know if President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the CFPB was involved in drafting the new immigration enforcement policy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Did President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau approve the administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy that has led to a wave of families being separated near the Southern border?

That is the question posed by Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts to Kathy Kraninger, the program associate director at the Office of Management and Budget whose job includes policy implementation oversight for both the Justice Department and Homeland Security Department, according to the senators.

Here Are the Republicans Opposing Migrant Family Separation
A growing number of GOP legislators are breaking with the Trump administration’s policy

Activists protest against the policy of separating migrant children from their families on Monday in Los Angeles. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Legislators from both parties are raising their voices against the Trump administration policy separating undocumented migrant children from their parents when they cross the southern border.

The policy has garnered intense and unified Democratic opposition, with all 48 of the party’s senators endorsing a bill, proposed by California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, to reverse the policy. A growing number of Republicans also have come out against the current conditions on the border, while largely avoiding placing blame directly on President Donald Trump or his administration.

Steve King Defends Child Detention Centers
Says kids were playing soccer and the facility was air-conditioned when he visited in 2014

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, defended child detention facilities on the border. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Steve King defended the detention facilities where child migrants are being held at the border after being separated from their parents.

The Iowa congressman was asked by TMZ about Democrats calling detention facilities “concentration camps” and said he had been down to one of the facilities in 2014 that was a retrofitted warehouse.