10 things you need to know today: February 11, 2017
President Trump floats 'brand new' immigration order after court rejection, hundreds arrested in surge of immigration raids in at least 6 states, and more
President Trump floats 'brand new' immigration order after court rejection
President Donald Trump on Friday proposed the idea of signing a "brand new order" to limit immigration after his previous executive order barring U.S. entrance from seven majority-Muslim nations was twice defeated in court. "We'll be doing something very rapidly having to do with additional security for our country," he said. Earlier this month, Trump promised to take the original order all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary, a plan he now seems to be reconsidering. Trump's Friday comments emphasized speed as a security necessity, a message he reiterated Saturday morning, tweeting, "Our legal system is broken! '77% of refugees allowed into U.S. since travel reprieve hail from seven suspect countries.' (WT) SO DANGEROUS!" Those countries produce a high volume of refugees because residents seek to escape conditions of war and terrorism.
Hundreds arrested in surge of immigration raids in at least 6 states
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers arrested hundreds of undocumented immigrants in at least six states this week in a surge of what federal officials labeled "routine enforcement actions." The raids targeted illegal immigrants known to have criminal records beyond their immigration status, though some immigrants without a history of crime were arrested as well. President Trump has promised to deport up to 3 million undocumented immigrants with a criminal background, after which he will consider deporting up to 9 million more without criminal records. President Obama deported 2.5 million people from 2009 to 2015, the largest deportation tally of any president in history and a larger figure than all 20th century deportations combined.
Protests erupt in New York City, Los Angeles over immigration raids
Hundreds of protesters turned out in New York City and Los Angeles Thursday and Friday nights to protest news of a surge in arrests of undocumented immigrants in at least six states. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) says this week's arrests were merely an escalation of routine raids targeting illegal immigrants with criminal records. "Examples would include known street gang members, child sex offenders, and deportable foreign nationals with significant drug trafficking convictions," said an agency representative. But protesters contend that is an inaccurate description of the raids, which they believe have broken up families and affected many people with no criminal history. "Oftentimes folks' liberties and their rights are violated during ICE raids," said Los Angeles protester Jessica Valenzuela, "where they're picked up without having adequate access to counsel, and that's one of the biggest concerns."
U.S. investigators reportedly confirm some details of Russia dossier
U.S. investigators on Friday confirmed some details of the 35-page dossier claiming Russia has compromising information on President Trump, CNN reports. Previously, investigators were unable to verify the claims, which were compiled by a retired British intelligence agent and revealed to the public Jan. 10. CNN said that while the dossier's more "salacious" contents remain unverified, investigators have corroborated details about some of the communications "between senior Russian officials and other Russian individuals." No specific confirmations were released. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the administration continues "to be disgusted by CNN's fake news reporting."
Trump reaffirms 'steadfast' alliance with Japan in joint press conference
President Trump welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to "the very famous" White House Friday, praising Japan as an "important and steadfast ally" in a joint press conference. Abe in turn praised Trump's "uphill struggle" to become president and encouraged economic partnership between the countries. "Of course there are disagreements [between Japan and the U.S.], but we should not close down a dialogue just by pointing to the differences," Abe said. He did not comment on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the deal brokered by President Obama which he supports and Trump opposes. Abe and his wife have joined the First Family at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida for the weekend.
Trump raises voter fraud issue in Senate meeting
President Trump reportedly complained about voter fraud in a meeting with 10 senators Thursday intended to be a discussion about Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Politico reports Trump said he and former Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) — who lost her re-election bid and is now serving as a Capitol Hill liaison for Trump on Gorsuch's nomination — were victims of a rigged election. The senators' response was reportedly an "uncomfortable silence." Democratic FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub on Friday called the president's comments "astonishing" in a statement responding to the story. "Allegations of this magnitude cannot be ignored," she said, asking Trump to promptly share his evidence with law enforcement.
Protesters deny Betsy DeVos entry during first K-12 school visit
Protesters blocked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos from entering the Jefferson Middle School Academy in Washington, D.C., on Friday during her first visit to a K-12 public school since her swearing-in ceremony Tuesday. Video showed DeVos attempting to enter the school's side door, only to be physically denied entry by a small group of protesters. She eventually entered the school through another door. Parents and teachers demonstrated at the school to protest the secretary's record of criticism of the public school system and support for private school vouchers.
U.S. rejects Palestinian U.N. envoy to Libya
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Friday rejected U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' selection of former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as the new U.N. envoy to Libya. "For too long the U.N. has been unfairly biased in favor of the Palestinian Authority to the detriment of our allies in Israel," Haley said in a statement indicating the Trump administration "was disappointed" in the pick. A response from Guterres' office said Fayyad was chosen solely because of his "recognized personal qualities and his competence for that position." It is unclear whether Fayyad's candidacy is permanently ended by Washington's opposition.
Top Federal Reserve regulator resigns
Daniel Tarullo, a member of the Federal Reserve Bank's board of governors, on Friday announced his intention to resign in April, a move that gives President Trump three seats to fill on the board. Tarullo took his position in 2009 and "led the Fed's work to craft a new framework for ensuring the safety and soundness of our financial system following the financial crisis," said Fed Chair Janet Yellen. Trump is expected to choose a replacement with a less activist approach to regulation, particularly after the president signaled his interest in repealing some of the Dodd-Frank rules Tarullo helped enforce.
Russia may extradite Snowden as a 'gift' to Trump
U.S. intelligence agencies reportedly have evidence the Kremlin is considered extraditing NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden from Russia to the United States as a "gift" to "curry favor" with President Trump. Snowden's lawyer says he has "received no such signals and has no new reason for concern," but Snowden himself touted the report Friday evening as proof that he is not on Moscow's payroll. "Finally: irrefutable evidence that I never cooperated with Russian intel. No country trades away spies, as the rest would fear they're next," Snowden tweeted. President Trump has said Snowden is a "total traitor" who should be "executed."