Trump won’t support new plan to save ‘Dreamers’ from deportation

Here is another example of how Trump is reneging on another one of his Immigration promises in a major way. Recipients of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) will now be faced with uncertainty as to their protections from Deportation.


Graham and Durbin planned to re-introduce a version of the long-stalled legislation as early as Thursday that would provide an escape hatch for young immigrants who could lose their special protected status because of a court challenge from Texas and nine other states.

Trump’s opposition to the proposal could dash one of the greatest hopes for Congress to help the roughly 800,000 young immigrants who had been protected by Obama’s controversial 2012 deferred action program, known as DACA, that is unlikely to withstand the legal challenge. But the White House official said Trump’s priority is on measures that crack down on illegal immigration as he promised during the campaign.

The president instead favors a pair of already-introduced measures that would cut down on illegal and legal immigration, the official said. One goes after sanctuary cities, or jurisdictions that refuse to hold immigrants in their jails longer so federal officials can pick them up to be deported. The other is a “merit-based system” proposal would reduce overall legal immigration and redirect visas toward immigrants with special skills.

The White House official said the enforcement proposals fit the president’s commitment to “improving the security, wages and job prospects” of American workers.

It’s also a return to the tone and theme of his campaign, in which he promised to build a wall, boost deportations and eliminate the deferred action program. He has since said he wants to “work something out” for the Dreamers, but was still expected to cancel the program to send a message to supporters who feel Obama wrongly granted amnesty to hundreds of thousands of immigrants here illegally.

DACA is back on the chopping block again

If you’re an immigrant who was unlawfully brought to America as a child, you might be one of the more than 600,000 young adults registered under DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. President Trump has flip-flopped on whether he will undo the executive action that then-President Obama used to create the program, but now Texas has threatened to sue if Trump doesn’t undo the action. What’s the future look like for DACA? McClatchy White House correspondent Franco Ordoñez explains.

Natalie Fertig McClatchy

“To me, it’s one of the most difficult subjects I have because you have these incredible kids — in many cases, not in all cases,” Trump said during a February news conference. “In some of the cases, they’re having DACA and they’re gang members and they’re drug members, too. But you have some absolutely incredible kids — I would say mostly — they were brought in here in such a way. It’s a very, very tough subject.”

It’s enforcement first. Then we can get to all these other things.

White House official

Aboard Air Force One last week, talking with reporters en route to Paris, Trump said he was still agonizing over what to do about DACA.

“It’s a decision that I make and it’s a decision that’s very very hard to make,” he said. “I really understand the situation now. I understand the situation very well. What I’d like to do is a comprehensive immigration plan. But our country and political forces are not ready yet.”

He added, “There are two sides of a story. It’s always tough.”

Groups who have been pushing the administration to tighten enforcement applauded the president opposition to the DREAM Act. Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, a Washington, D.C.-based immigration-reduction organization, said it’s clear that Trump has a soft-spot for the DACA recipients, but reassuring he was unwilling to grant them lifetime work permits without some type of enforcement measures.

“I’m relieved to hear that the White House is rejecting the new DREAM bill because it suggests that the president at the very least is not inclined to a stand-alone amnesty that doesn’t address the cause of the problem,” said Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, a Washington, D.C.-based immigration-reduction organization.

A group of Republican officials from 10 states, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, have pressed the Trump administration to phase out the controversial program put in place in 2012 after a congressional effort to pass the DREAM Act failed.

The Trump administration has until Sept. 5 to decide whether to rescind the program or face a court challenge by the states. And Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told members of Congress this month that the program is unlikely to withstand a legal challenge.

There is support in the country for a non-felon, non-violent Dreamer to be allowed to stay and work their way toward citizenship.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

Graham has called the DACA program unconstitutional and said the states might be right, but added that the rug shouldn’t be pulled out from under the young men and women who came out of the shadows and registered with the federal government.

“There is support in the country for a non-felon, non-violent Dreamer to be allowed to stay and work their way toward citizenship,” Graham said. “The kids have a very powerful story to tell and this may be an area where both parties can come together. But if we’re going to do the DREAM Act, which would give legal status to some illegal immigrants, I want to get something for it. I think marrying up a strong border security bill with the DREAM Act makes sense.”

Immigrant rights groups such as United We Dream have expressed cautious support for the new DREAM Act. Cristina Jiménez, executive director of the United We Dream, said it’s important to see his proposal first and worries it could used as political tool in exchange for greater enforcement measures targeting the immigrant community at-large.

“Because then we’re talking about our own parents,” Jimenez said.

William Douglas contributed to this report.

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McCrory signs bill restricting view of police camera recordings


Gov. Pat McCrory signed controversial legislation Monday regulating the release of recordings from police body and dashboard cameras.

There were growing calls for McCrory to veto the legislation because it makes it difficult for the public – including people involved in a recorded police action – to see it. But the Republican governor said the law will strike a balance between improving public trust in the police and respecting the rights of officers.

McCrory signed the bill while surrounded by law enforcement officers from several departments and against the backdrop of fatal police shootings last week of black men by police officers in Minnesota and Louisiana, along with the shooting deaths of five police officers by a black gunman in Dallas who was targeting white cops.

These shootings or their aftermath were captured on the telephone cameras of witnesses.

McCrory referenced those deaths in his remarks and said the law “ensures transparency.”

But the legislation was the subject of heated debate before it easily cleared the General Assembly on a 48-2 Senate vote and a 88-20 House vote. Some lawmakers wanted to loosen restrictions on access. Groups that wanted McCrory to veto the bill because they said it re-enforced secrecy held a rally in Raleigh last week and produced a petition they said was signed by more than 3,000 people.

“Body cameras should be a tool to make law enforcement more transparent and accountable to the communities they serve, but this shameful law will make it nearly impossible to achieve those goals,” Susanna Birdsong, policy counsel for the ACLU of North Carolina, said in a statement.

Body camera footage is not now spelled out in state law as public record, and law enforcement agencies often made it inaccessible to the public by declaring recordings part of personnel files. The new law, which goes into effect Oct. 1, says the footage is not a public record or a personnel record.

The law allows people who are recorded, or their representatives, to see footage if law enforcement agencies agree. The police chief or sheriff would decide whether to grant access. The law enforcement agency can consider a number of factors in making the decision, including whether disclosure may harm someone’s reputation or jeopardize someone’s safety, or if confidentiality is “necessary to protect either an active or inactive internal or criminal investigation or potential internal or criminal investigation.”

Subjects of the recordings don’t have minimum guaranteed access to footage, Birdsong said in an interview. “A police chief can deny them access for any reason,” she said.

If access is denied, the subject can seek a court order to be allowed to see the video.

A court order also will be required for the general release of police camera footage. Even law enforcement agencies that want to release the footage must obtain a Superior Court judge’s order.

McCrory did not take questions after he signed the bill.

He said during the signing ceremony that legislators wrestled with how technology “can help us and how can we work with it, so it doesn’t also work against our police officers and public safety officials.”

“Technology like dashboard and body cameras can be very helpful, but when used by itself, technology can also mislead and misinform, which also causes other issues and problems within our community,” he said. “What we need to do is walk that fine line.”

The law also allows for needle exchange programs aimed at reducing the spread of communicable diseases. Public money cannot be used to buy needles or syringes.

Lynn Bonner: 919-829-4821, @Lynn_Bonner

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Protect your Assets: Wills, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney

I have had a number of individuals reach out to me for assistance in drafting a Power of Attorney or who want to know what benefits there are in having a power of attorney for use by a loved one in the event that they become incapacitated. Here is a great resource of information from the NCBA that may better help you answer questions that you have as to how a Power of Attorney works and if it would be a wise choice for you or someone you know.



Congressional redistricting map approved by NC General Assembly

By Terri Flagg –

Gov. Pat McCrory has signed into law a court-ordered redistricting map and procedures for a special congressional primary set for June following a two-day special session of the General Assembly last week.

The new district map shifts Stokes County from District 6 to District 5, grouping it with neighboring counties and those in the northwest corner of the state. Continue reading “Congressional redistricting map approved by NC General Assembly”

For Sexual Assault Victims, An Effort To Loosen Statutes Of Limitations

Allegations of sexual assault against Bill Cosby as well as intensified focus on campus rape have left many prosecutors struggling to figure out new ways to right old wrongs. Now, a growing number of states are changing their statutes of limitations to allow sexual assault cases to be prosecuted years and even decades after the fact. Continue reading “For Sexual Assault Victims, An Effort To Loosen Statutes Of Limitations”

Darryl Hunt’s body found inside vehicle, police say

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. —The body of Darryl Eugene Hunt, who served nearly 20 years in prison before DNA results exonerated him in a 1984 murder, was found Sunday morning in Winston-Salem.

Hunt’s body was found inside a vehicle in the 2800 block of University Parkway, WXII 12 News learned. Police did not say how Hunt died. Continue reading “Darryl Hunt’s body found inside vehicle, police say”

Cumberland County’s first animal cruelty jury trial ends in conviction

By Nancy McCleary, Staff writer, Fayetteville Observer

A Spring Lake woman was found guilty Monday in Cumberland County Superior Court of abandoning and starving her dog.  It was the first time an animal cruelty case was heard by a jury, said Dr. John Lauby, director of Cumberland County Animal Control.

Continue reading “Cumberland County’s first animal cruelty jury trial ends in conviction”

‘The Kissing Case’ And The Lives It Shattered

Dwight Thompson (above right) spoke about The Kissing Case with his brother, James Hanover Thompson — and with his sister, Brenda Lee Graham (below). They spoke at StoryCorps in Wilmington, N.C. – StoryCorps[/caption]

In 1958, James Hanover Thompson and his friend David Simpson — both African-American, both children — were accused of kissing a girl who was white. They were arrested, and taken to jail. Prosecutors sought a stiff penalty — living in reform school until they were 21. Continue reading “‘The Kissing Case’ And The Lives It Shattered”