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Obama announces executive order to fix ‘broken’ immigration system

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President Barack Obama imposed the most sweeping immigration reform in a generation on Thursday, easing the threat of deportation for about 4.7 million undocumented immigrants and setting up a clash with Republicans.

In a White House speech, Obama rejected Republican critics who say his decision to bypass Congress and take executive action is tantamount to amnesty for illegal immigrants and urged them to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation that the Republican-controled House of Representatives has blocked.

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“Today, our immigration system is broken, and everybody knows it,” Obama said. “It’s been this way for decades. And for decades we haven’t done much about it.”

Republicans pounced quickly, charging Obama had overstepped his constitutional power a year after declaring he did not have the authority to act on his own.

In a video released before Obama’s televised speech, House Speaker John Boehner said: The president has said before that ‘he’s not king’ and he’s ‘not an emperor,’ but he sure is acting like one.”

With 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, Obama’s plan would let some 4.4 million who are parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents remain in the United States temporarily, without the threat of deportation.

Those undocumented residents could apply legally for jobs and join American society, but not vote or qualify for insurance under the president’s signature healthcare law. The measure would apply to those who have been in the United States for at last five years.

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An additional 270,000 people would be eligible for relief under the expansion of a 2012 move by Obama to stop deporting people brought illegally to the United States as children by their parents.

Obama said in his speech that the real amnesty would be “leaving this broken system the way it is.” Trying to deport all 11 million people living in the country illegally was not realistic, he added.

“What I’m describing is accountability, a common-sense, middle-ground approach,” he said. “If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported.”

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‘PASS A BILL’

Drawing a line of defense against expected Republican challenges, Obama argued his actions were not only lawful but the kinds of steps taken by presidents for the past half century, both Republican and Democratic.

“And to those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill,” he said.

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With Republicans warning that Obama will poison the well toward future cooperation on other issues, the president told his opponents: “Don’t let a disagreement over a single issue be a dealbreaker on every issue.”

“Americans are tired of gridlock,” he said.

Senior administration officials said Obama would shift law enforcement resources from the interior of the country to the U.S. border and that recent border crossers would be sent back. Deportation efforts would focus largely on gang members and violent criminals, instead of families.

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Administration officials described Obama’s actions as the biggest shift in immigration policy since 1986 changes by President Ronald Reagan.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Steve Holland; Writing by Steve Holland; Additional reporting by Amanda Becker in Washington and Mica Rosenberg in New York; Editing by Tom Brown, Howard Goller and Peter Cooney;)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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‘They just fired on us’: Horrifying videos of cops ‘using journalists for target practice’ in Minneapolis

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Journalists covering the protests in Minneapolis reported on being targeted by police on Saturday.

Multiple reports -- including live coverage on CNN -- showed police firing rubber bullets at journalists.

It’s open season on the media for the cops in Minneapolis. Evil. https://t.co/ZR3Nnf9ofH

— Nick Stellini (@StelliniTweets) May 31, 2020

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Scientists warn of ‘superspreaders’ as Americans flock back to restaurants, salons and churches

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SAN DIEGO — Churches. Hair salons. Restaurants. Malls. What do they all have in common?They’ve all been cleared to reopen in San Diego County amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — and by and large, they all require people to congregate inside, potentially with strangers.This comes as an increasingly vocal group of scientists has sounded the alarm about the danger of indoor gatherings due to the potential for airborne transmission of the disease by “superspreaders.”This week Kimberly Prather of UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography penned an urgently worded perspective paper in t... (more…)

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About 75% of Trump’s proposed coronavirus capital gains tax cut would go to the top 1% of earners

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Roughly three-quarters of the benefits from the capital gains tax cut floated by President Donald Trump as part of the administration's coronavirus relief plan would go to the top 1% of earners, according to the Tax Policy Center.

Trump has repeatedly floated a cut to capital gains taxes, which are taxes paid by investors on profits made when an asset, like stock or real estate, is sold. The capital gains tax rate is already 35% lower than the top income tax rate, and only about 6% of households in the bottom 80% of earners claim any capital gains, meaning the overwhelming majority of benefits would flow to the wealthy.

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