President Trump announced a new immigration plan on Thursday – unveiling one of presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner's long-awaited policy proposals. In an effort to prioritize high-skilled workers, the White House seeks to establish a "points-based selection system" to rank green card applicants based on their age, education, and skills, rather than family connections.
Critics pointed out that President Trump's own grandfather and in-laws would likely have been barred from immigrating to the U.S. under the proposed system.
But the White House also left out a top immigration priority for Democrats: DACA – the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival protections for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, also known as "dreamers."
Meanwhile, the number of migrants arriving at the southern border continues to grow rapidly. Local officials in two Democratic-voting Southern Florida counties announced that they had been told the federal government will be sending more than 100 immigrants there weekly – starting in just two weeks.
After speaking with county officials who worry the influx would strain their social services, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida sent a letter to the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Kevin McAleenan, urging him not to transport any undocumented migrants to Florida before clarifying the arrangements.
In the latest news on the Mueller report, a federal judge on Thursday ordered portions of special counsel Robert Mueller's report that relate to former national security adviser Michael Flynn be unredacted and made public by the end of the month.
According to a filing unsealed in federal court on Thursday, Mr. Flynn told the special counsel's office that people connected to the Trump administration and Congress attempted to influence his cooperation with the Russia investigation. U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered the transcript of a voicemail President Trump's attorney left for Flynn's attorney, reminding the former adviser of the president's high regard for him while Flynn was considering cooperating with federal investigators in November 2017.
Also on Thursday, the Justice Department failed to meet a deadline to provide intelligence information related to Mueller's investigation – just one of several subpoenas issued by House Democrats that the Trump administration is fighting. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said he would "reluctantly" schedule a vote next week for an "enforcement action" against Attorney General William Barr.
And though mainstream Democrats continue to demur on the topic of starting impeachment proceedings against President Trump, Speaker Pelosi threatened to use them as a tool to obtain documents and testimony from the White House.
And as the Justice Department moves forward with an investigation into the origins of the 2016 probe of then-candidate Trump, the attorney general doubled down on his claim that unauthorized spying took place on the Trump campaign in the 2016 election.
In other news, earlier this week, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law the most restrictive anti-abortion measure in the country. The legislation criminalizes the procedure as a Class A felony, punishable up to 99 years in prison.
Notably, the legislation makes no exceptions for victims of rape or incest.
After abortion rights activists vowed to challenge the legislation in court, the bill's sponsor claimed that was the point in passing it, calling the bill a "direct attack" on Roe V. Wade.
The law drew criticism from both sides of the aisle, including House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who said it "goes further" than he believes.
Pushing abortions to the forefront of the 2020 presidential primary, nearly every Democratic candidate weighed in on the issue.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., blasted the law: "If you are a person of deep Christian faith, one of the tenants of our faith is free will. One of the tenants of our democracy is that we have a separation of church and state, and under no circumstances are we supposed to be imposing our faith on other people. And I think this is an example of that effort."
The Missouri House of Representatives followed suit on Friday by passing a "fetal heartbeat" bill which would ban abortions after eight weeks into pregnancy, and like the Alabama measure, the Missouri bill lacks any exemptions for rape or incest. Republican Gov. Mike Parson is expected to sign the legislation into law.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., (@RepAdamSchiff) will join us to discuss his how his committee plans to move forward with the Mueller report and Attorney General William Barr.
We'll talk with from Kevin McAleenan, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (@DHSMcAleenan), about the administration's immigration plan.
We'll hear from Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York (@SenGillibrand), about her campaign for president and how the topic of abortions will play into the 2020 primary.
We'll also sit down with David Maraniss (@davidmaraniss) to discuss his new book, "A Good American Family."
And as always, we'll turn to our panel for some perspective on the week that was:
- Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) of The New York Times
- Kristen Soltis Anderson (@KSoltisAnderson) of the Washington Examiner
- Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) of The New York Times
- Ed Wong (@ewong) of The New York Times
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