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Texas sues Trump administration to end ‘Dreamers’ program

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Texas and six other Republican-governed states on Tuesday sued the Trump administration to try to end a program launched by Democratic former President Barack Obama that protects immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children.

The states filed suit in federal court in Texas in the latest twist in an ongoing policy and legal fight over the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that Republican President Donald Trump already has tried to rescind.

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Trump said in September he would terminate DACA and end its protections for the immigrants who are sometimes called “Dreamers,” but gave the Republican-controlled Congress until March 6 to replace it. Policy differences between Trump and lawmakers in both parties led to Congress’ failing to act.

In the meantime, courts ruled that the program can stay in place for now, although new applications will not be accepted.

The program protects around 700,000 young adults, mostly Hispanics, from deportation and gives them work permits for two-year periods, after which they must re-apply.

Texas, joined by Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia, argued in the lawsuit that the Obama administration exceeded its authority by creating the program without congressional action.

“Our lawsuit is about the rule of law, not the wisdom of any particular immigration policy,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, said in a statement.

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“Texas has argued for years that the federal executive branch lacks the power to unilaterally grant unlawfully present aliens lawful presence and work authorization,” he added.

The head of a leading Latino legal civil rights organization said the filing came too late and was on the wrong side of the law.

“Today’s filing by seven retrograde states comes nearly six years after DACA was introduced and many weeks after three other federal courts began to order that the DACA initiative continue despite Donald Trump’s attempt to end it,” said Thomas Saenz, president the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

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The lawsuit asks the judge to wind down DACA, which would prevent any new permits from being issued or renewed but would not cancel current permits.

Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Additional reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Editing by Will Dunham and Leslie Adler

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Joni Ernst accused of involvement in ‘dark money’ re-election scheme: report

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According to a report from the Associated Press, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) has been accused of illegally working with an outside group to help her re-election prospects in a tough 2020 fight with Donald Trump on the ballot.

According to AP: "An outside group founded by top political aides to Sen. Joni Ernst has worked closely with the Iowa Republican to raise money and boost her reelection prospects, a degree of overlap that potentially violates the law."

"Iowa Values, a political nonprofit that is supposed to be run independently, was co-founded in 2017 by Ernst’s longtime consultant, Jon Kohan. It shares a fundraiser, Claire Holloway Avella, with the Ernst campaign," the report continued. "And a condo owned by a former aide — who was recently hired to lead the group — was used as Iowa Values’ address at a time when he worked for her."

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What makes Christmas movies so popular

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If you are one of those people who will settle in this evening with a hot cup of apple cider to watch a holiday movie, you are not alone. Holiday movies have become firmly embedded in Americans’ winter celebrations.

The New York Times reports a massive increase in new holiday movies this year. Disney, Netflix, Lifetime and Hallmark are now in direct competition for viewers’ attention, with both new releases and reruns of the classics.

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Mike Pompeo under increasing scrutiny as as Trump impeachment ramps up: report

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On Saturday, WVAS Radio's Scott Simon profiled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — and how the impeachment investigation is shaping his political situation.

"As the impeachment inquiry against President Trump continues its march through Congress, questions are churning around his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo," wrote Simon. "For example, did he know, as witnesses testified before House investigators, that President Trump sought political favors from Ukraine in exchange for millions in U.S. assistance? Why did he take days to reveal he was on the now infamous July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy? And does he believe allies of the president who — despite the findings of the intelligence community — claim that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election?"

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