No Republican has received more public pressure from immigration advocates over the recess than House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California. In a show of force Wednesday, thousands of activists rolled into McCarthy’s Bakersfield-area district. Their demands: A vote on an immigration-reform bill that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the United States. And they want the vote by Sept. 30.
They carried cantaloupes (in a nod to anti-amnesty crusader Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who said most young illegal immigrants had calves the size of the melon from hauling drugs), American flags, and signs warning of dire electoral consequences for the GOP if the party doesn’t support immigration reform.
Before the recess, advocates for citizenship had identified McCarthy — whose district has a 35 percent Hispanic population and a significant agricultural presence — as the best way to influence House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. “He can do a lot to convince Boehner to allow a vote” on legislation that includes citizenship, Eliseo Medina of the Service Employees International Union said in July.
But even as the third-ranking member of the House GOP leadership comes squarely in the crosshairs of the activists, it’s unclear whether McCarthy will accede to their demands. Last week during an event in Newport Beach, he backed some form of legal status for undocumented immigrants but stopped short of allowing citizenship, according to The Daily Pilot.
“I personally believe it’s different for someone who’s been here 30 years than if they’ve been here three months,” McCarthy said, suggesting people could work toward legal status by paying a penalty. Children, on the other hand, were “different,” he said. “This is your country. You have no other place to go.”
Organizers of the Bakersfield rally estimated that 5,000 people attended, including many who arrived in what they described as the largest caravan in California history. Bakersfield police, however, estimated the crowd at 1,500.
McCarthy’s response to the rally, issued through a spokesman, was polite but noncommittal. “I think that it is always healthy to have a dialogue on the important issues of the day, and I welcome folks coming to visit Bakersfield,” he said. “While I have met with many groups across the spectrum of the immigration reform debate, in the end, I value the input of my constituents in the 23rd Congressional District most. I have long said that our immigration system is broken, but rather than take up the Senate bill, the House will move in a step-by-step approach that first secures the border.”
Many in the GOP have coalesced around the idea of treating the children of illegal immigrants with more leniency. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., are working on a bill that would address that issue, though no House members have offered up legislation dealing with the rest of the estimated 11 million in the undocumented population.
Still, activists in favor of comprehensive legislation have portrayed the recess so far as a success, picking up a few Republican supporters since members left town in early August. At an immigration panel earlier this week, Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., described the 13-year pathway to citizenship in the Senate bill as “reasonable” because it requires background checks, fines, back taxes, employment, and proficiency in English. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., said in a radio interview that when it comes to immigrants in the country illegally, “I want to hold them accountable, and then they get citizenship.”
Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., told the Orlando Sentinel that he would support citizenship as long as it had several preconditions: a 90 percent apprehension rate of those trying to enter illegally, a nationwide E-Verify system, and allowing state and local authorities to enforce immigration law — an idea that has been met with fierce resistance from Democrats.
Immigration does not appear to have dominated town halls with the same intensity that the health care law did in the summer of 2009. Still, some lawmakers have been pushed to take a stance on the issue.
Asked for his opinion on a pathway to citizenship at a town-hall meeting, Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., said, “I think there needs to be a secure border, and I think when that happens and people have paid their back taxes and they haven’t committed any violation of laws, they’ve been here on a probationary period, then they can apply for citizenship and go to the back of the line.” Steve Dutton, a spokesman for Schock, underlined that his boss did not use the phrase “pathway to citizenship,” but is interested in legislation that address all aspects of the immigration system.
On a smaller scale, groups who oppose any form of legalization have launched a “Stop Amnesty Tour” that began with an event in Richmond, Va., earlier this week — a stone’s throw away from Cantor’s district. Representatives from NumbersUSA and Tea Party Patriots were joined by Iowa’s Steve King, whose comments last month suggesting most young illegal immigrants were drug smugglers became a pain for the GOP leadership and a P.R. blessing for those seeking to paint Republicans as being held hostage by a vocal minority. More events on immigration reform are being planned for Harrisburg, Pa.; Dallas; Toledo, Ohio; and South Carolina.
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Before we get to the specifics of this exposé about escorts working the Iowa and New Hampshire primary crowds, let’s get three things out of the way: 1.) It’s from Cosmopolitan; 2.) most of the women quoted use fake (if colorful) names; and 3.) again, it’s from Cosmopolitan. That said, here’s what we learned:
- Business was booming: one escort who says she typically gets two inquiries a weekend got 15 requests in the pre-primary weekend.
- Their primary season clientele is a bit older than normal—”40s through mid-60s, compared with mostly twentysomething regulars” and “they’ve clearly done this before.”
- They seemed more nervous than other clients, because “the stakes are higher when you’re working for a possible future president” but “all practiced impeccable manners.”
- One escort “typically enjoy[s] the company of Democrats more, just because I feel like our views line up a lot more.”
No matter where you stand on mandating companies to include a backdoor in encryption technologies, it doesn’t make sense to allow that decision to be made on a state level. “The problem with state-level legislation of this nature is that it manages to be both wildly impractical and entirely unenforceable,” writes Brian Barrett at Wired. There is a solution to this problem. “California Congressman Ted Lieu has introduced the ‘Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications Act of 2016,’ which we’ll call ENCRYPT. It’s a short, straightforward bill with a simple aim: to preempt states from attempting to implement their own anti-encryption policies at a state level.”
Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
The New Covenant. The Third Way. The Democratic Leadership Council style. Call it what you will, but whatever centrist triangulation Bill Clinton embraced in 1992, Hillary Clinton wants no part of it in 2016. Writing for Bloomberg, Sasha Issenberg and Margaret Talev explore how Hillary’s campaign has “diverged pointedly” from what made Bill so successful: “For Hillary to survive, Clintonism had to die.” Bill’s positions in 1992—from capital punishment to free trade—“represented a carefully calibrated diversion from the liberal orthodoxy of the previous decade.” But in New Hampshire, Hillary “worked to juggle nostalgia for past Clinton primary campaigns in the state with the fact that the Bill of 1992 or the Hillary of 2008 would likely be a marginal figure within today’s Democratic politics.”
At first, “it was pleasant” to see Trevor Noah “smiling away and deeply dimpling in the Stewart seat, the seat that had lately grown gray hairs,” writes The Atlantic‘s James Parker in assessing the new host of the once-indispensable Daily Show. But where Jon Stewart was a heavyweight, Noah is “a very able lightweight, [who] needs time too. But he won’t get any. As a culture, we’re not about to nurture this talent, to give it room to grow. Our patience was exhausted long ago, by some other guy. We’re going to pass judgment and move on. There’s a reason Simon Cowell is so rich. Impress us today or get thee hence. So it comes to this: It’s now or never, Trevor.”