News from the note…
A round up of the day’s news that might be of interest to you.
This is an OPEN THREAD, folks. Chat about any of the stories listed, share links to stories that caught your eye today, and generally have a good time discussing whatever you want.
A Central American migrant caravan grew over the weekend to an estimated 7,200 people, consisting of mostly Hondurans. The caravan is heading north from the Mexican border town of Tapachula, amid intense media scrutiny.
There is understandable apprehension in the U.S. as to how this surprisingly large caravan might impact the upcoming midterm elections, since President Trump was quick to exploit the headlines to rally his anti-immigrant base. Yet, this is not a border security crisis, and we should greet the caravan with compassion, not fear.
Central American migration to the U.S. has been occurring for a long time. The difference now is that it has moved out of the shadows and become visible, as people band together for protection during the perilous journey through Mexico. That visibility allows us to see more clearly the plight of Central Americans and the legacy of U.S. involvement in the region, as well as the social and moral failings of our immigration and border policies.
How and why did this migrant caravan arise? There is a long tradition of organized migrant treks through Mexico. Called “migrant stations of the cross,” such treks usually occur during the Easter season and recall the religious pilgrimages common in Mexico. These caravans are not intended to “storm” the border. Rather, they provide protection for Central Americas who are vulnerable to abuse as they cross Mexico. They also highlight the reasons Central Americans are leaving their countries and their petitions for asylum.The Hill
Earlier this month, President Donald Trump’s political team reviewed polling from congressional districts that were competitive in the 2016 election. They showed that border protection, safeguarding immigration officers and standing up to illegal immigration resonated with voters there, according to a person with knowledge of the president’s strategy.
The president seized on the issues as winners for Republicans attempting to preserve their congressional majority.
Trump has since found the perfect opening with a migrant caravan snaking up through Central America toward the U.S. border — and hitting his favorite cable news TV shows. And now the president is talking and tweeting nonstop about the caravan, hoping his strategy will pay off in the final two weeks before Election Day.
“The Democrats don’t care what their extremist immigration agenda will do to your neighborhoods or your hospitals or your schools,” Trump said at a rally Monday night in Houston. “They don’t care that the mass illegal immigration will totally bankrupt our country.”Politico
September saw the highest number on record for family members crossing the US-Mexico border in a single month, the Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday.
The figure could help fuel President Donald Trump’s calls for stricter immigration policies, a key issue he has been citing on the campaign trail in the closing weeks of the midterm election season.
According to figures released by Border Patrol as part of its annual end of fiscal year numbers, 16,658 family members were apprehended crossing the border.
The numbers were close during the 2014 unaccompanied minor crisis, when there were 16,330 apprehensions in June that year, and also close to numbers in December 2017, when 16,139 family members were apprehended on the southern border.CNN
2018 saw the most family apprehensions on the southern border, a DHS spokesperson said. The DHS data released Tuesday goes back to 2013.
Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Tuesday lowered expectations that President Trump‘s proposed middle-class tax cut would come to fruition shortly after the November midterm elections.
“It may not surface for a while. But that’s his goal. That’s his policy intent. I don’t see anything wrong with that,” Kudlow told reporters at the White House.
But Kudlow cautioned against discounting the possibility Trump will push a second round of tax cuts through Congress.
“Promises made, promises kept,” he said. “Take him seriously when he comes out with these things. That’s been his pattern for a long time. People should not underestimate that.”The Hill
A Florida man is accused of groping a female passenger while on a flight Sunday from Houston to Albuquerque and later telling authorities that the president of the United States “says it’s OK to grab women by their private parts.”
Bruce Michael Alexander, 49, of Tampa made his initial appearance in federal court Monday in Albuquerque on a charge of abusive sexual contact. It wasn’t immediately clear if he had an attorney.
According to a criminal complaint, a woman told authorities the man behind her touched her twice and that she told him to stop and asked to change seats.
Alexander recalled in a written statement only that the woman in front of him had spoken to him and then changed seats.
Alexander remains in custody pending a preliminary hearing and a detention hearing scheduled for Tuesday.Orlando Sentinel
The FBI says it was unable to locate any photos of former FBI Director James Comey and special counsel Robert Mueller “hugging and kissing” after President Trump claimed he could provide 100 such images.
BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold on Tuesday shared the Justice Department’s response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request he filed with the bureau asking for photographs of Mueller and Comey “hugging and kissing each other.”The Hill
The FBI said in response that its search did not turn up any records corresponding with Leopold’s request.