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November 26, 2015

Posts in "Immigration"

November 20, 2015

In the House, Personal Debates on Refugees

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 29: Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., speaks with a reporter outside of the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Amash has family ties to the Middle East. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House debate on refugees and national security this week took a turn for the personal and for good reason: Several members are refugees or the children of refugees, have family ties to the Middle East or were imprisoned in U.S. internment camps on the basis of their ethnicity.

After the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, House Republicans drafted legislation requiring the FBI to certify background checks for U.S.-bound Syrian and Iraqi refugees and U.S. national security agencies to vouch that they are not security threats. The final vote in the House on Thursday was 289-137, a veto-proof margin. Full story

November 19, 2015

White House Loses Votes to GOP on Syrian Refugee Bill

syrian refugees

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democratic leadership braced Thursday for at least 60 defections on the Republican bill to strengthen the vetting of Syrian refugees seeking resettlement in the United States.

It wasn’t quite that high, but 47 Democrats crossed the aisle to vote with nearly every Republican for Congress’ first legislative response to the terrorist attacks in Paris — despite a veto threat from President Barack Obama. The coalition of Democrats supporting the measure, which passed 289-137, wasn’t atypical of previous votes for which leadership could not justify opposition. Full story

Watch Live: House Judiciary Hearing on Syrian Refugee Crisis

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security holds a hearing on the Syrian refugee crisis and the U.S. admission program for refugees. Officials from the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security are expected to testify.

Coverage begins at 9 a.m.

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November 18, 2015

House Democrats Plan Alternative to Syrian Refugee Bill

3: Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., speaks as House Democrats hold a news conference to call for presidential action on immigration on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lofgren tried to get changes made to the GOP refugee bill due on the floor Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:15 p.m. | House Democrats will use procedural gambits to get a vote on their proposal aimed at easing concerns about Syrian refugees coming to the United States but without completely blocking their resettlement.

The partisan maneuvering has the potential to weaken support for a Republican-backed bill set to come to the floor Thursday. President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the measure, but the bill is expected to pass with GOP votes and some from fiscally conservative Democrats.

Full story

Congress Scrambles for Response to Refugees, Paris Attacks

Ryan speaks Tuesday before signing the defense policy bill. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Ryan speaks Tuesday before signing the defense policy bill. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Top Republican leaders in Congress called for a “pause” in allowing Syrian refugees to enter the United States, as lawmakers in both chambers scrambled for a response to the Paris terrorist attacks.

A House task force released a bill Tuesday directed at the vetting of refugees from Syria and Iraq, where Islamic State extremists have found safe havens.  While Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called for a halt to the refugee program, the House legislation instead seeks to enhance the certification process for these refugees.

Full story

November 17, 2015

House Bill Drafted to Enhance Vetting of Refugees

CQ Roll Call File Photo

CQ Roll Call File Photo

The House will vote Thursday to enhance oversight of the screening process for refugees from Syria and Iraq, but it will not consider legislation to “pause” the program sought by Speaker Paul D. Ryan.

Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., told reporters a post-Paris attacks task force has crafted a bill to create “a new certification process” for these refugees. It will be posted online later tonight and go before the Rules Committee Wednesday.

Full story

House’s Muslim Members Brace for Charged Terror Debate

UNITED STATES - MARCH 10: Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., arrives to testify during the House Homeland Security Committee hearing on "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response" on Thursday, March 10, 2011. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Ellison, in 2011, arrives to testify at a Homeland Security Committee hearing on “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response” (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Updated 5:30 p.m. | The two Muslim members of the House share the sentiments of their fellow Democrats: Under no circumstances should the United States block Syrian refugees from this country in the aftermath of the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris..

But for Reps. Keith Ellison of Minnesota and André Carson of Indiana, there’s a greater sense of urgency in how Congress responds to the violence at the hands of the Islamic State terror group, also known as ISIL or ISIS, that has a stranglehold in Syria. Full story

November 4, 2015

Parsing Ryan: Immigration Stance Open to Interpretation

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Paul D. Ryan has made one thing clear: He’s taking immigration off the table for the remainder of Barack Obama’s presidency.

Yet members on both sides of the aisle are still finding plenty to read into the new speaker’s statements on the subject as they try to game out what Ryan’s plans for immigration mean for them.

Full story

November 1, 2015

Ryan: Immigration Overhaul Off the Table Under Obama

paul ryan immigration

Boehner, foreground, and Ryan after the Oct. 29 speaker election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Newly elected Speaker Paul D. Ryan wants Republicans to spend the remainder of the 114th Congress offering major policy ideas, except on immigration.

Ryan said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that President Barack Obama has shown he cannot be trusted on immigration policy because he tried to circumvent Congress and make changes to immigration laws by executive order. Full story

Gutiérrez: Immigration Letter Buries GOP’s Chances for 2016

Gutierrez thinks Republicans are about to step in it thanks to Brooks' letter. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Gutiérrez thinks Republicans are about to step in it thanks to Brooks’ letter. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s a little more than a year out from Election Day, but Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez has already made plans, and he’s thanking his Republican colleagues for helping set the schedule.

“I’ve got arrangements for early the Wednesday after the election to really have a great celebration in 2016, and I know I can buy those airline tickets and make those hotel reservations and that I’m going to be very, very happy, because I’m going to be well rested, because it’s going to be a very early night,” the Illinois Democrat said as members were heading out of town on Oct. 29. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 9 a.m.

October 22, 2015

Immigration Hard-Liners Balk at Ryan’s Stance

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ryan poses for a selfie with a tourist outside the Capitol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Even as Paul D. Ryan’s path to becoming House speaker looks increasingly clear, his record as an outspoken advocate for rewriting the nation’s immigration laws may be one of the final reasons giving pause to some in his conference’s right flank.

The Wisconsin Republican has said he wants unified support from his House colleagues as a condition of accepting the job, but the conservative wing of the party — particularly members of the House Freedom Caucus — is uneasy about his work toward a comprehensive immigration bill in 2013. Full story

October 20, 2015

4 Times Paul Ryan Broke Ranks With GOP

Ryan has earned praise for working across the aisle, but that may hurt him with his own party's most conservative members.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ryan has earned praise for working across the aisle, but that may hurt him with his own party’s most conservative members. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When Wisconsin Rep. Paul D. Ryan ran for vice president on Mitt Romney’s ticket in 2012, he was known as an Ayn Rand-inspired conservative policy wonk who advocated turning Medicare into a voucher program.

A year later, in December 2013, he was heralded as a compromiser for crafting a budget deal with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., that averted another government shutdown.

If Ryan runs for speaker, as many colleagues have urged, he’ll have to negotiate the legacies of both of those reputations. Full story

September 30, 2015

Congressman: Expand Obamacare to Undocumented Immigrants (Video)

Updated 5:40 p.m. | Rep Luis V. Gutiérrez, one of Congress’ most outspoken advocates for immigrants, on Wednesday called for expanding the Affordable Care Act to cover all of the estimated 11 million undocumented migrants in the United States.

“The goal is to make integration and inclusion real for millions of families that are locked out under current law,” the Illinois Democrat said in a floor speech introducing his proposed legislation.

Full story

September 19, 2015

The Congressional Wish List for the Pope’s Speech

(Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images)

(Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images File Photo)

Every lawmaker on Capitol Hill has a cause that could use a boost from a powerful person’s endorsement — and next week there won’t be a more influential seal of approval than one from Pope Francis.

Since taking on the papacy in March 2013, the leader of the world’s largest church has shown a willingness to wade into some of the thorniest political debates around the globe, from economic equality to climate change to immigration.

Catholics and non-Catholics alike want to hear what he has to say, and his scheduled Sept. 24 address to a joint session of Congress will afford him a soapbox from which to deliver a message to, basically, the world. Full story

August 11, 2015

The Bipartisan Working Group’s Elusive Target

Clockwise from left, Reps. David Joyce, R-Ohio, Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, Daniel Webster, R-Fla., Lou Barletta, R-Pa., Mark Amodei, R-Nev., Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., Scott Peters, D-Calif., Peter Welch, D-Vt., and John Carney, D-Del., attend a Bipartisan Working Group (Photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Clockwise from left, Reps. Joyce, Renacci, Webster, Barletta, Amodei, Maloney, Peters, Welch and Carney attend a BPWG meeting. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

About a dozen House Republicans and Democrats sat around a table on a recent early morning, eating doughnuts and discussing the highway bill.

The Highway Trust Fund’s July 31 expiration date was near, party leaders seemed resigned to advance yet another stopgap extension and the assembled rank-and-file lawmakers wondered whether they could fully unite around a strategy to force passage of long-term legislation. Full story

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