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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 1:00 am


2nd port changes policy on asylum

News services

WASHINGTON – The U.S. government said Tuesday it has expanded a program requiring asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases proceed through immigration court. Officials also reported that 240 migrants seeking asylum have been returned to Mexico under the program.

Homeland Security officials said the program is now also at the Calexico port of entry, about 120 miles east of the San Ysidro port in San Diego, where it began in late January.

The Trump administration's program is a major shift in how the U.S. handles the cases of immigrants seeking asylum and fleeing persecution in their homeland. It is being implemented as border arrests soared in February to a 12-year high and more than half of those stopped arrived as families, many of them asylum seekers who generally surrender instead of trying to elude capture.

Wealth claims prompt probe

New York's attorney general has opened a civil investigation into President Donald Trump's business dealings, taking action after his former lawyer told Congress he exaggerated his wealth to obtain loans.

A person familiar with the inquiry said Attorney General Letitia James issued subpoenas Monday to Deutsche Bank and Investors Bank seeking records related to four Trump real estate projects and his failed 2014 bid to buy the NFL's Buffalo Bills. The person wasn't authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. The New York Times first reported the subpoenas.

Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, told Congress in late February that Trump exaggerated his wealth on financial statements provided to Deutsche Bank when he was trying to obtain financing to buy the Bills.

Schiff concurs: No impeachment

A key House investigator said Tuesday that Speaker Nancy Pelosi is “absolutely right” to hold back on impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, sided with Pelosi, who said Democrats shouldn't pursue impeachment unless there's overwhelming and bipartisan support for doing so. Her comments to The Washington Post riled some liberals, including new lawmakers who helped flip the chamber to Democratic control.

Together, Pelosi and Schiff's remarks are designed to signal to outspoken Democrats in the House that senior lawmakers in the Democrat-controlled House aren't behind any drive to impeach Trump. The delicate issue returned to the surface after a week of ugly dispute over how to word a resolution condemning discrimination.

Trump Jr. mocks Cheney remarks

Donald Trump Jr. mocked former Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday morning following reports that Cheney forcefully challenged the Trump administration's foreign policy during a private conversation with Vice President Mike Pence over the weekend.

“Isn't it fitting that Cheney is the one mad that Trump is ending his reckless and endless wars? I never knew peace would be so unpopular!” Trump Jr. tweeted with a link to a Washington Post story about the meeting.

A transcript showed Cheney questioning and criticizing President Donald Trump's decision-making, including the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria and his hostility toward NATO. The past and present vice presidents met Saturday during a retreat hosted by the American Enterprise Institute in Sea Island, Georgia, that grew contentious when Cheney objected to Trump's policies.

Trump signs bill on monuments

President Donald Trump signed a wide-ranging public lands bill Tuesday that creates five new national monuments and expands several national parks.

The new law also adds 1.3 million acres of new wilderness and permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which supports conservation and outdoor recreation projects nationwide. It's the largest public lands bill Congress has considered in a decade, and it won large bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate.

In December 2017, Trump took the rare step of scaling back two national monuments in Utah, which were created by Democratic Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, respectively. Republicans say the new monuments were created the right way, through the legislative process and not by a president wielding his executive powers.