Technology & Innovation

Supreme Court grapples with end of ‘Dreamers’ program
Decision next year could ultimately reshape decades-old immigration debate

A protester holds up a sign during a rally outside of the Supreme Court on Tuesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

A divided Supreme Court appeared reluctant Tuesday to undo the Trump administration’s decision to end an Obama-era program that gives nearly 700,000 so-called Dreamers the ability to work in the United States and avoid deportation.

During more than an hour of oral arguments, attorneys for challengers told the justices that the Department of Homeland Security — while it has the authority to end the discretionary program — did not adequately explain why the administration chose to do so.

Google looks past Project Maven to work anew with the Pentagon
Company’s 2018 withdrawal from drone video program sent shockwaves through national security world

A Google sign at its 2019 Developer Days conference in Shanghai, China. (Lyu Liang/VCG via Getty Images)

More than a year after pulling out of a contract with the Pentagon that relied on technologies based on artificial intelligence to sort through drone videos, Google says it is ready to work with the Defense Department on a wide variety of applications that don’t involve weapons.

Google’s decision to engage with the Pentagon on non-weapons-related technologies stems from the company’s artificial intelligence principles published last year, said Kent Walker, senior vice president for global affairs at Google.

Immigrant ‘Dreamers’ look to Supreme Court, Congress for help
Supreme Court considers DACA cases

Immigration rights demonstrators hold signs in front of the Trump International Hotel in Washington in September 2017 to oppose the president’s decision to end the DACA program for “dreamers.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Samuel Cervantes can’t ever imagine returning to Mexico. He hasn’t been back since his family moved to Houston when he was 5. He now fears being deported if the federal government ends the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

He also fears for his life if forced to return to a country he barely even remembers. 

Proposed foreign investment scrutiny adds to fintech deal risk
New rules would expand the types of transactions that come under CFIUS jurisdiction

New foreign investment rules proposed by the Treasury Department are compounding regulatory risks for mergers and acquisitions in the global fintech market. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New foreign investment rules proposed by the U.S. Treasury Department are compounding regulatory risks for mergers and acquisitions in the global financial technology market, analysts say.

The proposed rules, which are expected to be finalized and in force by early 2020, expand the types of transactions that come under the jurisdiction of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a Treasury-led interagency panel that probes national security issues in cross-border deals.

Fintech Beat explains how open banking is poised to revolutionize financial services
Open Banking 101, Ep. 28

Open banking is shaking up financial experiences for customers across the globe (iStock).

Open banking is set to shake up financial experiences for customers across the globe, enabling customers to allow third parties to access financial information needed to develop new apps and services. Fintech Beat sits down with the head of policy at Plaid, a unicorn fintech sitting in the middle of the revolution, to discuss the process of information sharing and how regulation shapes it.

Supreme Court cases could stir politics on ‘Dreamers’
Suits challenge Trump attempt to revoke Obama deportation protections

The Supreme Court building (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court hears oral arguments Tuesday in a trio of cases with the potential to reshape the nearly two-decades-old push in Congress for more permanent protections for immigrants who arrived in the United States as children.

The cases center on whether the Trump administration properly decided to cancel an Obama-era program that gives nearly 700,000 so-called Dreamers the ability to work and avoid deportation to countries they left at such a young age that they may not even remember.

Ending DACA without a legislative solution is bad for Dreamers, bad for our nation and bad politics
7 former GOP congressmen urge their ex-colleagues to act

Dreamers, and those who rely on them, have lived in uncertainty and fear for far too long, former Reps. Coffman, Costello, Curbelo, Dent, Dold, Lance and Trott write. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — While impeachment inquiries rage on and the 2020 race heightens, we need not forget the policy battles we’ve been fighting for years that affect Americans, regardless of immigration status, each and every day.

Since 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program has shielded young immigrants who came to the U.S. as children from deportation, allowing them to legally work or study in the U.S. after completing an application, paying a fee and undergoing a thorough background check. They also have to renew and repeat this process every two years.

Libra’s regulatory hurdles appear taller after House hearing
Still to be decided: How the cryptocurrency would be regulated

Libra, known as a stablecoin, would be backed by a basket of dollars, euros and other traditional currencies called the Libra Reserve. (iStock)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg provided only a few additional details about the company’s proposed cryptocurrency to a House Financial Services Committee on Oct. 23 that generally didn’t like what it heard. 

Zuckerberg said Facebook wouldn’t proceed with the proposed Libra until it had satisfied regulators’ concerns. That pledge and the harsh criticism from lawmakers on both sides the aisle appears to narrow, if not eliminate, the company’s path to approval, at least for a project as sweepingly ambitious as Libra is.

Transportation and data service providers battle for bandwidth
FCC chairman says it’s time to take ’fresh look’ at how frequencies are used

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has talked about taking a “fresh look” at using radio frequencies for transportation safety purposes, but he hasn't put the change on the agency’s agenda yet. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two big industries are fighting over radio frequencies that each could use to provide game-changing services.

On one side is the transportation industry, including auto and truck makers and their suppliers. The frequencies would allow smart vehicles of the near future to talk to each other to use roadways more efficiently and avoid collisions.

Fintech Beat and FRT team up to cover all things fintech in DC
Fintech Beat, Ep. 27

An attendee at Fintech Week 2019 asks a question during a panel. (Photo by CQ Roll Call)

Trump suggests Chad Wolf is his pick for next DHS chief
But DHS spokesperson says Kevin McAleenan is still acting secretary

Chad Wolf appears to be President Donald Trump’s pick for the next acting DHS secretary. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump indicated Friday he would name Chad Wolf as the next acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, ending nearly a month of uncertainty over who would fill the job once outgoing acting chief, Kevin McAleenan, steps down.

“He is right now acting and we’ll see what happens,” Trump told reporters when asked if Wolf would be the next DHS chief. “We have great people in there.”

Three things to watch when World Series champions Nationals visit White House
Will Trump address that ‘Lock him up!’ chant from Game 5 in D.C.?

Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman hoists the Commissioner's Trophy as the team celebrates beating the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the World Series at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The Washington Nationals are headed to the White House on Monday, broken World Series trophy and all, to celebrate their first championship in franchise history with President Donald Trump.

Bang! Zoom!

America can’t afford to sit out the artificial intelligence race
Federal government must lead with purpose, smart policy and appropriate investment

Whether society and government enable or inhibit the artificial intelligence race, and the extent to which they do so, will be a critical question of the next decade, Chambliss, Samp and Phillips write. (iStock)

OPINION — Artificial intelligence is everywhere. If you shop online or occasionally speak to a voice assistant in the morning, you are already embracing the changes this technology has created. Many people are familiar with the advances of autonomous vehicles or facial recognition technology, and some may be curious, or even anxious, about how they will affect safety or privacy.

Make no mistake, AI is a transformative technology that is influencing our daily lives and will touch every sector of the global economy. Whether society and government enable or inhibit the AI race, and the extent to which they do so, will be a critical question of the next decade. Regardless of the answer, the technology will forge ahead. To sit out this race, add hurdles or not take it seriously, would not be a wise decision.

Immigration chief spars with Missouri lawmaker over ‘medical deferred-action’ policy
‘How cruel!’ Rep. Clay responds to Cuccinelli’s testimony

Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo., during a House Oversight subcommittee hearing Wednesday on the administration’s policy towards foreigners in the U.S. with serious illnesses. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services faced tough questions from several members of the House Oversight and Reform hearing Wednesday on the agency’s since-reversed decision to end granting foreign nationals with serious medical conditions the temporary ability to stay in the country.

Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo., used his allotted five minutes to ask Ken Cuccinelli if he had heard about several cases interest groups had brought to the agency’s attention. Clay characterized them as “truly heartbreaking.” 

Outgoing DHS chief McAleenan will stay on 'if necessary'
No successor formally tapped a day before McAleenan set to step down from role

Outgoing acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan, testifying here during House appropriations hearing in April, said he will stay beyond his scheduled last day of Oct. 31 if “necessary.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A day before he was set to step down as acting Homeland Security secretary, Kevin McAleenan said Wednesday that he would stay on the job “if necessary” since the White House has yet to tap his successor.

“I said in my resignation letter to the president that I would ensure a smooth transition and that remains my position. I want to make sure that it happens for the department,” he told lawmakers during a House Homeland Security Committee meeting.