Border Control

Photos of the Week: A Parade, Virginia Holds Primaries and, of Course, the Baseball Game
The week of June 11 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

A Capitol Visitor Center employee stops to smell the long strands of lei draped on Hawaii’s King Kamehameha statue in the Capitol Visitor Center on Kamehameha Day on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic Lawmaker Collapses at Immigration Rally
Rep. Joe Crowley fell to ground at protest in front of U.S. Customs and Border Protection

From left, Reps. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., actor John Cusack, Luis Gutierrez, R-Ill., John Lewis, D-Ga., Al Green, D-Texas, Judy Chu, D-Calif., Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and others sit on the 14th Street NW, entrance to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in protest of the Trump Administration’s policy of separating parents and children at the border on June 13th.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

New York Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley collapsed Wednesday at a rally in Washington to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policy allowing parents and children of illegal immigrants to be separated at the border.

“Until they arrest us, we will stay here, however long it takes,” protesters chanted just as Crowley fell to the street in front of U.S. Customs & Border protection, according to a tweet from a CNN reporter who was at the scene.

Opinion: It’s the Summer of No Love for American Tourism
The economy is part of the immigration debate, whether we like it or not

America’s tourism industry has taken a hit in the Trump era, and that could spell trouble for the economy, Megan and Brown write. Above, travelers arrive at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport in April. (Scott Olson/Getty Images file photo)

Graduation season is wrapping up and summer vacation season is just beginning, rites of passage enjoyed by Americans and visitors alike. Foreign tourists flock to America’s beaches, parks and cities, and students travel from all over the world to study in our world-class universities. But data suggests this summer may bring fewer of both.

Tourists and students account for roughly 80 percent of total non-immigrant visas issued by the U.S. each year. They spur demand for goods and services, which pads economic growth and helps to power the tourism industry and higher education system.

Congress’ Focus on Opioids Misses Larger Crisis
‘All the bills are tinkering around the edges,’ one health official says

Targeting prescription opioids puts Congress years behind the crisis, which is largely driven by illicit nonprescription drugs. Above, heroin users at a New York City park in May. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

By SANDHYA RAMAN, ANDREW SIDDONS and MARY ELLEN McINTIRE

Congress faced a startling public health and political problem throughout 2016 as the number of people dying from opioid addiction climbed. The number of Americans succumbing to drug overdoses more than tripled between 1999 and 2015, affecting a whiter and more geographically diverse population than previous drug crises. Lawmakers ultimately approved some modest policies aimed at curbing prescription drug abuse and provided $1 billion to support state efforts.

Podcast: Putting Trump's Immigration Crackdown in Context
CQ on Congress, Episode 105

Immigration rights activists rally in Dupont Circle in Washington before their May Day march to the White House to voice opposition to President Donald Trump's immigration policies on May 1, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump's move to criminally prosecute migrants crossing the border illegally, and to separate them from their children, aims to end the longstanding practice of releasing immigrants into the country, pending deportation, says CQ immigration reporter Dean DeChiaro. Trump's also boosting enforcement inside the country, but sanctuary city policies are impeding his efforts, explains Ariel Ruiz Soto of the Migration Policy Institute.

Show Notes:

Committees Tackle Politically Powerful Issue of Opioids Legislation
Senate HELP panel advanced bipartisan package Tuesday

Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, chairs the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, which will consider over 60 bills to address the opioids crisis at a Wednesday markup. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House heads into a marathon opioid markup Wednesday, a day after the Senate health committee approved bipartisan legislation of its own addressing the crisis. Both chambers are eager to advance bills to combat the crisis under an aggressive timeline, with an eye toward demonstrating action before the midterms on an issue that affects voters representing most demographics and districts.

“Even though this epidemic is worse in some parts of the country than others, find me a congressional district where this isn’t an issue,” said Keith Humphreys, a drug policy expert at Stanford. “Absolutely, they do not want to go into an election and have their constituents mad at them.”

Senate Panel Unveils Draft Bill to Combat Opioid Addiction
HELP Committee expected to discuss legislation next week

The Senate HELP Committee, led by Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander and Washington’s Patty Murray, has already held six hearings on the opioid crisis so far this Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate health panel on Wednesday released a discussion draft intended to curb opioid addiction. The development comes as other House and Senate committees also prepare legislation.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee plans to discuss this legislation at an upcoming hearing on April 11. The panel has already held six hearings on the opioid crisis so far this Congress featuring representatives from agencies including the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as governors from states affected by the crisis.

Podcast: Trump Makes a Run for the Border
Political Theater, Episode 13

Two Border Patrol Agents on horseback ride along the U.S.-Mexican Border. "[The horses] can go places vehicles can't, they've been pretty darn effective" Agent Brian Kemmett said. President Donald Trump wants the National Guard to help the Border Patrol along the Southern border. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump's desire to have the National Guard help patrol the Southern border is not all that different from actions taken by former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, but that does not mean there are not areas of concern about the action. 

On the latest Political Theater Podcast, Megan Scully, national security editor at CQ, breaks down the history of such border deployments and why the United States has laws preventing the military from engaging in domestic law enforcement.

No Word From White House on Military Funding Border Wall, Hill Sources Say
White House hasn’t offered any plan, sources say, even if legal and political hurdles could be cleared

President Donald Trump talks with reporters as he inspects border wall prototypes on March in San Diego. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Donald Trump’s notion of shifting money from the military to pay for his southern border wall appears stalled and likely dead, with congressional sources saying they haven’t heard a thing from the president’s aides.

Senior congressional aides and experts point to several legal hurdles Trump’s out-of-the-blue idea would have to clear. And even if they got over those, Democrats would have to sign off in a midterm election year. Both make the prospects of the president’s idea becoming reality very unlikely, aides and experts say.

Opinion: Once Again on Immigration, a Victory for the All-Or-Nothings
With DACA tied up in the courts, the urgency for Congress to act is gone

The inability of President Donald Trump and Democrats to compromise on DACA and border security has given hard-liners on both sides of the immigration debate a win, Cardinal Brown writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When President Donald Trump travels to California later this month to view the prototype designs for a new border wall, perhaps he will take a moment to think about what could have been. Because as things stand, those eight 30-foot-long samples are the only walls likely to be built.

Trump could have had his wall. He had numerous opportunities to get it, dating all the way back to the “Chuck and Nancy” deal last fall. All he had to do was agree to something he says he wants — a permanent replacement for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program he canceled in September.