Lindsey Graham and The White House Exchange Barbs Over Immigration Negotiations with Stephen Miller

Sen. Lindsey Graham and the White House are in a war of words as lawmakers try to work across party lines and along Pennsylvania Avenue to try and find a deal to reopen the government. Graham has been one of the main negotiators during the shutdown, which started early Saturday morning.

“I’ve talked with the president. His heart is right on this issue. I think he’s got a good understanding of what will sell,” Graham told reporters. “And every time we have a proposal it is only yanked back by staff members. As long as Stephen Miller is in charge of negotiating immigration, we are going nowhere. He has been an outlier for years. There’s a deal to be had.


McConnell to Bring Up Bill On Immigration, Border Security Next Month

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican for Kentucky) said on Sunday that he will bring up immigration legislation next month if negotiators can’t work out a larger deal by Feb. 8.

“Should these issues not be resolved by the time the funding bill before us expires on Feb. 8, 2018, assuming the government remains open, it would be my intention to proceed to legislation that would address DACA, border security and related issues,” McConnell said on Sunday night, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

McConnell noted that he hopes to get the immigration fight, as well as separate discussions on disaster relief, health care and the budget caps, finished “as quickly as possible.”


Two Trump Aides Appear to Be Running the Government Shutdown and Immigration Negotiations

Friday’s shutdown-averting negotiations between Trump and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer were “derailed” by Kelly and Miller, “whose stance on immigration, coupled with Kelly’s position on defense spending, pushed Trump off any compromise,” according to NBC News.

Trump’s “heart is right on this issue,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (Republican for South Carolina) told reporters on Sunday. “I think he’s got a good understanding of what will sell, and every time we have a proposal, it is only yanked back by staff members. As long as Stephen Miller is in charge of negotiating immigration, we are going nowhere. He’s been an outlier for years.”


Cotton: Support for Immigration Deal Won’t Hinge on President

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton said Sunday he would not agree to an immigration deal simply because it has President Donald Trump’s support, as the government shutdown enters its second day with no end in sight.

“I can’t make that commitment,” Cotton said on Sunday’s “Meet The Press,” adding he would “evaluate any deal on its merits.”

By Sunday, top lawmakers appeared no closer to reaching a compromise that would re-open the government, and members of both parties continued to hurl blame at the opposite side.


White House: GOP Has “Been Showing Flexibility” In Immigration Negotiations During Shutdown

A top White House official, Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short, said that “throughout the negotiation on immigration,” Republicans and the White House have shown they are willing to negotiate.

“I think you’ve seen us move. I think you’ve seen us move throughout the negotiation on immigration,” White House said according to ABC News.




ICE Releases Personal Information of Immigrant-Crime Hotline Users

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released the private information of hundreds of people who called the agency’s Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office (VOICE), The Arizona Republic reported Sunday.

Call logs to the VOICE hotline, originally intended as a way for victims to ask questions that instead become a crime hotline, were posted to the agency’s website, and ICE released some private information to The Arizona Republic through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the news outlet reported.

ICE admitted in a statement to The Arizona Republic that it posted private information that is protected by law. To remedy the situation, ICE offered identity-theft monitoring services to those affected by the disclosure and temporarily removed the contents of its FOIA library.


As Congress Debates Immigration, ICE Targets Doctor Who’s Been in the U.S. for 40 Years

Immigration agents are in custody of a Michigan doctor green card holder who’s been in the country for 40 years.

On Thursday, three Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers picked up Lukasz Niec, a doctor at Bronson HealthCare, at his home in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Niec immigrated from Poland to the United States with his parents when he was three-years-old in 1979 and is green card holder. Niec is now being held at the Calhoun County Jail.


Immigration Court Backlog Raises Due Process Concerns in The Era of Trump

Five days after he was inaugurated as president, Donald Trump issued an executive order cracking down on illegal immigration.

With additional hundreds of thousands of cases expected to further clog an already overburdened immigration court system, the Justice Department is releasing new guidelines on how to move cases through the system more efficiently.

Immigration attorneys and advocates are concerned these new policies risk denying those in the country without legal status due process of law.


McConnell Says He Intends to Have Immigration Debate If Government Reopens

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that he intends to hold a debate over immigration measures, such as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, before Feb. 8, but only if the government reopens.

The Kentucky Republican spoke on the Senate floor hours before the chamber was scheduled to vote on a measure that would re-open the federal government.

After senators failed to reach a deal over the weekend, McConnell on Sunday called for a noon Monday vote to advance a bill that would fund the government through Feb. 8.


White House aide Defends Anti-Immigrant Trump Campaign Ad

White House legislative director Marc Short defended Monday a recent re-election campaign ad from President Donald Trump that called Democrats “complicit in every murder committed by illegal immigrants.”

“What (the ad is) trying to do is it’s trying to show that we do have a real security threat on our borders,” Short told CNN’s “New Day.” “I think what you saw last week, the report from (Department of Homeland Security) says there 2,500 people on the terror watchlist trying to get into the United States each and every year. That means seven per day that are either apprehended or turned away. We have serious security concerns and it’s being ignored in a lot of this debate right now. We want to help get that resolved.”


Advocates Say Immigration Officers Arrest 14 At Colchester Hotel

Law enforcement officers arrested 14 people Thursday morning at a Colchester hotel, according to John Mohan, a Boston-based spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Officers from ICE arrested the workers at about 5 a.m. Thursday as they left the Days Inn in Colchester, where they were staying as guests, Will Lambek, a spokesman for Burlington-based advocate group Migrant Justice, said.

Lambek said the workers were part of a construction crew, but he declined to name the company.  Federal court documents confirm the date and location of the raid.