Homeland Security

McAuliffe: Trump Administration Deportations Prioritize Criminals
Virginia Democrat details conversations with Homeland Security secretary

McAuliffe, center, is the chairman of the National Governors Association. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Monday that the Trump administration has assured him that the targets of deportation efforts are people who have been involved in what he described as a “criminal enterprise.”

McAuliffe, a Democrat, is the chairman of the National Governors Association, which was finishing up meetings in Washington after a weekend gathering. The governors were at the White House for meetings with President Donald Trump after also visiting the executive mansion for a dinner with the president Sunday night.

Nevada’s Hill Sway Sinks While Other Small States Surge
New Roll Call Clout Index reveals big disconnects between population and Capitol influence

With the retirement of former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, the Nevada congressional delegation has lost much of its legislative leverage, Hawkings writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Harry Reid may have masterminded one of 2016’s biggest statewide Democratic sweeps as he headed toward retirement, but the Nevada congressional delegation he left behind has lost much of its legislative leverage as a result. 

In fact, only two delegations have less collective influence at the Capitol this year than the six lawmakers from the Silver State, the newest Roll Call Clout Index reveals.

Trump White House Lets First Routine Week Slip Away
Administration clashes with reporters over invitation-only Q&A session

Trump walks to the Oval Office after arriving back at the White House after his CPAC speech on Friday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The Trump White House was close to pulling off its first drama-free week after a month of chaos, but on Friday, the new administration reverted to the norm.

The new president and his team seemed to be settling in over the last seven days. Donald Trump quickly named a new, well-respected national security adviser. They held off on a coming executive order limiting who can enter the country so relevant federal agencies could weigh in. And senior White House officials stayed on message.

Tennessee, Texas Stand Out for Strengthened Hill Sway
In Roll Call’s Clout Index for this Congress, California delegation’s longtime hold on top spot is threatened

Party affiliation and longevity have helped propel members of the Tennessee delegation such as Sen. Bob Corker into positions that convey authority and power, Hawkings writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

No state in this decade has seen a more meaningful boost than Tennessee in institutionalized congressional influence.

Only eight states, all with much bigger delegations because they’re much more populous, have more overt sway at the Capitol this year. That is one of several notable findings from the new Roll Call Clout Index, which the newspaper uses to take a quantifiable measurement of every state’s potential for power at the start of each new Congress.  

Congress Caught Unaware by National Guard Report
Mitch McConnell says he will ‘take a look’ at any White House proposal

Border protection agents during a service at the Capitol in 2008. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congress was caught somewhat flat-footed Friday by reports that the Trump administration is considering calling on the National Guard to round up and deport undocumented immigrants. 

“I hadn’t heard about it,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said when asked about an Associated Press report on a memo drafted by the Department of Homeland Security. The document proposed mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops across 12 states to gather immigrants who were in the country illegally. AP reported that the memo, dated Jan. 25, bore the name of DHS Secretary John Kelly, and had circulated among DHS staff.

Word on the Hill: Muslim Group Advocacy Day Focuses on Refugees
Senate majority leader has birthday on Presidents Day

Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern will address the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA before its advocacy day on Capitol Hill on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The seventh annual “Day on the Hill” for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA today will highlight its “True Islam” campaign and “#MuslimAlly” hashtag.

The group maintains it is the oldest Muslim organization in America, and 75 chapters from across the country are expected to meet with hundreds of congressional offices. Its focus this year is on discussing threats to homeland security and refugee processing.

Kamala Harris Aims for Influence as a Check on Trump
Even as a freshman, Calif. Democrat has started Senate career with a bang

California Sen. Kamala Harris has been sharply critical of President Donald Trump’s recent actions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Donald Trump received less than a third of the votes cast for president by California voters, and that’s something the state’s new senator, Kamala Harris, is well aware of.

Harris, the former state attorney general, had already spoken up on the Senate floor against the nominations of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos by the time she gave her more traditional “maiden speech” Thursday. The freshman Democrat started by recounting how her mother, an Indian immigrant, chose to marry her Jamaican father in the U.S. instead of returning to India for an arranged marriage.

Hispanic Caucus Members Turned Away From ICE Meeting
Numbers limited for bipartisan meeting, so lawmakers barred at door

Grisham was stunned that fellow members were turned away from the meeting. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats left a bipartisan meeting Thursday with the head of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement baffled — not just by what they heard but by the fact that some of their colleagues were not allowed to attend the meeting.

ICE Acting Director Thomas D. Homan met with a bipartisan group of House lawmakers for about an hour Thursday to discuss the agency’s recent raids that have led to the apprehension of at least 683 undocumented immigrants. That was the number ICE provided during the meeting, but Democrats contend the number is actually higher.

Trump Travel Ban Crashes Texas Wedding Plans
Texas native with Iranian roots presses lawmakers on executive order

Shervin Taheran is concerned that some of her relatives from Iran would be unable to attend her April wedding in Texas if President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration is reinstated. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump has repeatedly said his approach to preventing terrorist attacks on U.S. soil won’t always be tidy. That’s especially true when it affects things like the already delicate task of compiling a wedding guest list. Just ask Shervin Taheran. 

If reinstated by the judicial branch, Trump’s travel ban may prevent many family members and friends from entering the United States to celebrate personal milestones with their loved ones.

Ashton Kutcher’s Lovefest With the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Actor speaks on his organization’s efforts to stop human trafficking

Actor Ashton Kutcher, co-founder of Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children, prepares to testify during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Everyone agreed on two things in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: Human trafficking should be stopped and Ashton Kutcher should be swooned over.

The actor, co-founder of Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children, an organization that works to combat human trafficking, testified at the committee’s Ending Modern Slavery: Building on Success hearing on Wednesday.