WASHINGTON — Republicans are planning to hold a vote on a bill that would abolish the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in an apparent political attempt to force Democrats to take a side on a hot-button issue that is increasingly popular among the liberal base.

The Hill reported on Thursday that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy would bring the bill, introduced by Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, to the floor for a vote.

  • Republicans are gearing up to force a vote on plans from the left wing of the Democratic Party to abolish the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
  • In a vote, Republicans would be forcing vulnerable Democrats to show their hand on a polarizing position that is important to the Democratic base.

Republicans will hold a vote on abolishing ICE — forcing Democrats to show their hand

 Pocan and a group of other Democrats in the far-left Progressive Caucus put forth the Establishing a Humane Immigration Enforcement System Act on Thursday.

The bill and its supporters say ICE has strayed from its original mission since its creation in 2003. The bill would establish a commission tasked with creating "a humane immigration enforcement system that upholds the dignity of all individuals," according to a summary of the legislation.

"President Trump's blanket directive to round up and target all undocumented immigrants underscores the unchecked power which ICE has used to terrorize our communities," Pocan said in the statement. "From conducting raids at garden centers and meatpacking plants, to targeting families outside churches and schools, the president is using ICE as a mass-deportation force to rip apart the moral fabric of our nation.

"Sadly, President Trump has so misused ICE that the agency can no longer accomplish its goals effectively. As a result, the best path forward is this legislation, which would end ICE and transfer its critical functions to other executive agencies."

The move to push for a vote on the bill is in direct contrast with what House Speaker Paul Ryan has repeatedly hammered home — that he would not allow a vote on an immigration bill that President Donald Trump would not sign.

Even if the bill does not fail on the House floor, as it almost certainly would, Trump would need to sign it, an even less likely outcome. The likelier reason Republicans would allow a vote on abolishing ICE would be to create a dilemma for some Democrats would risk angering their constituencies, their party's leadership, or the broader Democratic base with their vote.

Ryan called the plan "the craziest position I've ever seen" on Thursday while also reiterating his stance that any immigration bill would need the confidence and support of Trump.

http://www.businessinsider.com/republicans-will-hold-vote-on-abolis...

The Establishing a Humane Immigration Enforcement System Act would:

  1. Convene a commission of experts to provide a roadmap for Congress to implement a humane immigration enforcement system that upholds the dignity of all individuals. This will include transferring issues like organized crime, drug smuggling, and human trafficking to other government agencies that are well-equipped to handle them and have proven track records of transparency, accountability and compliance with the law;
  2. Prior to the termination of the agency, direct Congress to act on the recommendations authored by the commission, including the transfer of necessary functions to relevant agencies and the implementation of the new immigration enforcement regime; and
  3. Terminate the agency within one year of enactment.

The legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Jim McGovern (MA-02), José E. Serrano (NY-15), Adam Smith (WA-09), and Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07).

The bill text of the Establishing a Humane Immigration Enforcement System Act is available here.

A fact sheet on the Establishing a Humane Immigration Enforcement System Act is available here.

A section-by-section breakdown on the Establishing a Humane Immigration Enforcement System Act is available here.

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Looks more like a political chess game.

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LIGHTER SIDE

 

Political Cartoons by Tom Stiglich

ALERT ALERT

 Judge Orders Mueller To Prove  Russia Meddled In Election 

Judge Dabney L. Friedrich

A Washington federal judge on Thursday ordered special counsel Robert Mueller’s team to clarify election meddling claims lodged against a Russian company operated by Yevgeny Prigozhin, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Bloomberg.

Concord Management and Consulting, LLC. – one of three businesses indicted by Mueller in February along with 13 individuals for election meddling, surprised the special counsel in April when they actually showed up in court to fight the charges. Mueller’s team tried to delay Concord from entering the case, arguing that thee Russian company not been properly served, however Judge Dabney Friedrich denied the request – effectively telling prosecutors ‘well, they’re here.’

Concord was accused in the indictment of supporting the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian ‘troll farm’ accused of trying to influence the 2016 US election.

On Thursday, Judge Freidrich asked Mueller’s prosecutors if she should assume they aren’t accusing Concord of violating US laws applicable to election expenditures and failure to register as a foreign agent.

Concord has asked Dabney to throw out the charges – claiming that Mueller’s office fabricated a crime, and that there is no law against interfering in elections.

According to the judge’s request for clarification, the Justice Department has argued that it doesn’t have to show that Concord had a legal duty to report its expenditures to the Federal Election Commission. Rather, the allegation is that the company knowingly engaged in deceptive acts that precluded the FEC, or the Justice Department, from ascertaining whether they had broken the law. -Bloomberg

On Monday, Friedrich raised questions over whether the special counsel’s office could prove a key element of their case – saying that it was “hard to see” how allegations of Russian influence were intended to interfere with US government operations vs. simply “confusing voters,” reports law.com.

During a 90-minute hearing, Friedrich questioned prosecutor Jonathan Kravis about how the government would be able to show the Russian defendants were aware of the Justice Department and FEC’s functions and then deliberately sought to skirt them.

“You still have to show knowledge of the agencies and what they do. How do you do that?” Friedrich asked.

Kravis, a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, argued that the government needed only to show that Concord Management and the other defendants were generally aware that the U.S. government “regulates and monitors” foreign participation in American politics. That awareness, Kravis said, could be inferred from the Russians’ alleged creation of fake social media accounts that appeared to be run by U.S. citizens and “computer infrastructure” intended to mask the Russian origin of the influence operation.

“That is deception that is directed at a higher level,” Kravis said. Kravis appeared in court with Michael Dreeben, a top Justice Department appellate lawyer on detail to the special counsel’s office. -law.com

Concord pleaded not guilty in May. Their attorney, Eric Dubelier – a partner at Reed Smith, has described the election meddling charges as “make believe,” arguing on Monday that Mueller’s indictment against Concord “doesn’t charge a crime.”

“There is no statute of interfering with an election. There just isn’t,” said Dubelier, who added that Mueller’s office alleged a “made-up crime to fit the facts they have.”

Dubelier added that the case against Concord Management is the first in US history “where anyone has ever been charged with defrauding the Justice Department” through their failure to register under FARA.

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