Immigration

Trump touts more than 100 miles of new border wall during State of Union
But all but one mile of it simply replaces old, existing barriers

A section of the border wall stretches through the Rio Grande Valley sector of the Texas border on Aug. 20, 2019. (Jinitzail Hernández/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump boasted during his State of the Union address that his administration has built more than 100 miles of barriers along the southwest border. The latest government data, however, shows that only one new mile of barrier has been constructed where none previously existed.

During his address Tuesday night to Congress, the president referred to ongoing construction of “a long, tall and very powerful wall” that echoed promises from his 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump State of the Union guests highlight reelection messaging
Taxes, immigration, abortion among issues expected on campaign trail

Vice President Mike Pence claps while Speaker Nancy Pelosi rips up a copy of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address after his remarks to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The guest lists for the 2020 State of the Union underscored both the messages for President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign and the way in which congressional Democrats will be on offense against him and his GOP supporters on Capitol Hill.

From an appeal to his base through a typical hard line on immigration and Iran to a broader audience through talk of the benefits of 2017 Republican-led tax cuts and the state of the economy, the president’s guests set up a series of bullet points for the speech-writing team behind the teleprompter text.

Shelby leaves door open for earmarks' return
House Democrats have floated the idea in recent weeks

Sen. Richard C. Shelby, an Alabama Republican, may be warming to the idea of earmarks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby appeared to soften a little Tuesday on a potential return of earmarks in spending bills this year, after saying last week his Republican colleagues probably wouldn’t allow it.

The Alabama Republican said that despite the Senate GOP Conference vote last year in favor of a permanent ban on the practice, he thinks there’s an argument to be made for a reversal.

The SOTU guest list: Who are lawmakers bringing?
Did John Bolton’s invite get lost?

Former Washington National Jayson Werth was a guest of Rep. Rodney Davis at President Donald Trump's State of the Union address in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump is on deck to deliver his third State of the Union, and what he’ll say about impeachment is the big question of the night.

Whether he lets fly with the “i”-word or avoids it, congressional Democrats are trying to move on — or at least that’s what they’re signaling with the guests they’ve invited.

Trump administration adds travel restrictions to six countries
Restrictions expanded to Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania

Passage of the original travel ban prompted protests like this one at Dulles International Airport on  Jan. 29, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Trump administration announced it will place travel restrictions on six additional countries, expanding a policy that has severely prohibited travel from targeted nations.

President Donald Trump signed a new proclamation Friday suspending immigrant visas for Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar and Nigeria. The remaining two countries, Sudan and Tanzania, will be barred from participating in the diversity visa lottery, which randomly allocates 50,000 green cards each year to countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

U.S. border officers ordered to vet Iranian American travelers, memo shows
Jayapal seeks Customs and Border Patrol meeting over agency's 'leaked' directive

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., called the practice of targeting U.S. citizens and residents at the border "absolutely unacceptable." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal said Thursday that her office was working to confirm what appears to be a Customs and Border Protection directive to field officers asking for additional scrutiny of Iranians, Palestinians and Lebanese at the U.S. border. 

“This document, if verified as coming from the Seattle CBP Field Office, matches exactly the process described by CBP leadership in a briefing last week, our own sources inside CBP, and the credible and powerful accounts from travelers who faced extreme profiling at the U.S.-Canada border,” the Democratic lawmaker said in a statement that linked to a local paper in Washington state that published the directive. 

What kind of country do Americans want? Voters definitely have a choice
As Democrats wrestle with complex issues of inclusion, the GOP message is much clearer

Democratic presidential hopeful Tom Steyer campaigns in Iowa last August. As Democrats wrestle, sometimes clumsily, with complex issues of inclusion, Republicans have a much clearer message, Curtis writes. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — “This is the diverse party. We are a diverse country. I am from a majority-minority state, California. So as far as I’m concerned, if we aren’t talking about race, dealing with race and actually addressing the problems of America today forthrightly and strongly, we’re not going to get the support of people, and we don’t deserve the support of people.”

That was presidential hopeful Tom Steyer, when I spoke with him recently, during his second stop through North Carolina in two weeks.

Some voters skeptical as Trump rallies with recent GOP convert Van Drew
South Jersey trip came after House freshman changed parties, opposed impeachment

With President Donald Trump looking on, Democrat-turned-Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew speaks at a Wildwood, New Jersey rally on Tuesday. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

WILDWOOD, N.J. – Prompted by President Donald Trump, the cheers for freshly minted Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew at a rally here Tuesday night were deafening. It appeared certain that the thousands who had come to see the president were fully embracing Van Drew, who is up for a second term in November.

But outside the 7,500-seat Wildwood Convention Center, some Republican voters remained skeptical of Van Drew’s conservative bona fides. Yes, he had switched parties after winning a South Jersey seat in Congress as a Democrat in 2018. Yes, he had pledged his “undying loyalty” to Trump. And yes, he had voted against the impeachment inquiry that Trump has derided as a “hoax.”

House of accommodations: Impeachment managers find ways to vote
Life goes on across Rotunda for prosecutors in Senate trial

House impeachment managers, from left, Sylvia R. Garcia, Val B. Demings, Jason Crow and Hakeem Jeffries are seen in the Capitol on Friday before the continuation of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Sylvia R. Garcia has never missed a vote — not in her first term so far in the House and not in the six years she served in the Texas state Senate.

The freshman Democrat’s perfect attendance could’ve been in jeopardy this week since she is one of the seven House impeachment managers prosecuting the chamber’s case in the Senate trial of President Donald Trump. But fortunately for Garcia, House Democratic leaders are keeping the floor schedule flexible to ensure the managers can participate in votes.

Checks and Balance: This summer's conventions may be a bit unconventional
Some lobbyists aren’t entirely convinced the show is worth the investment

The Clintons and Kaines gather on stage as balloons drop at the end of the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS | The quadrennial political conventions, where the party faithful publicly coalesce in cheerleading for their respective White House picks, play a lesser-known role — as sleep-away camp for K Street.

Away from the convention’s main stage, K Streeters are booking concert halls, hotel ballrooms and chic restaurants in the host cities for brunches, receptions and late-night, booze-infused concerts to fete their favorite politicians and bring them together with the corporate clients they represent.