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National Govt & Politics
Key GOP Senator urges Trump to cut deal with Dems on immigration
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Key GOP Senator urges Trump to cut deal with Dems on immigration

Key GOP Senator urges Trump to cut deal with Dems on immigration

Key GOP Senator urges Trump to cut deal with Dems on immigration

As President Donald Trump rolls out new plans Thursday to slow the surge in migrants trying to make it across the southern border of the United States, a key GOP lawmaker in Congress said Wednesday that the only chance for anything to get done in the House and Senate is a compromise - with both parties giving in on controversial immigration policy matters.

"To get what you want, you've got to give something," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), as he told reporters that it's obvious the President does not have the votes to do what he wants on immigration - and neither do the Democrats.

"You're going to have to get Democrats in the room," Graham told reporters. "This is the time for the Tuesday Trump to show up."

What Graham meant by that was a White House meeting which took place on a Tuesday in early 2018, where President Trump told a bipartisan group of Senators - in a meeting shown on TV - that if they could forge a deal among themselves on immigration, then he would sign it.

“I'll take the heat,” the President said.  “I don't care.”

But the idea went sideways quickly.

"We sent him a bill - and he didn't sign it," Graham recounted, as more conservative lawmakers and aides intervened, derailing a compromise which would have involved $25 billion for the President's border wall, in exchange for protections for some illegal immigrant 'Dreamers.'

Graham's comments came as he unveiled a series of new immigration plans on Wednesday, mainly designed to limit asylum claims, forcing those from Mexico and Central America to make those only in their home country - not at the U.S. border, or when they are apprehended.

Graham's plan would also treat unaccompanied children like those from Mexico or Canada - they would be sent back right away, and not allowed to stay in the U.S., which he says has become a magnet, and one reason the numbers of migrants has jumped dramatically.

The South Carolina Republican - who said he still considers himself a supporter of comprehensive immigration reform - said he plans to use his Senate Judiciary Committee in an effort to forge a bipartisan consensus on immigration.

But he knows it will take more than Senators.

"So, I am urging the President to lead us to a solution," Graham said, as he also pressed Democrats to overcome their distaste for Mr. Trump.

"Find a solution to this problem, quickly," Graham added.

So far the reaction among Republicans to the plan being released by the President on Thursday has been cool - as reviews were decidedly mixed after a closed door meeting of top White House officials, including Presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner, with GOP Senators on Tuesday.

While President Trump has aggressively pushed Congress to act on changes to U.S. immigration laws, he has had little success either in forcing votes, or in forging a plan which could gain even a majority in the Congress.

In February of 2018, the Senate voted on four different immigration plans; the one backed by President Trump netted only 39 votes, the smallest of the four.

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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

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  • A self-identified California survivalist was sentenced Monday to three consecutive life sentences, without the possibility of parole, in the murders of a couple sleeping on a beach in 2004, as well as the 2017 murder of his own brother. Shaun Michael Gallon, 40, pleaded no contest last month to the murders of Lindsay Cutshall, 22, and Jason Allen, 26, who were shot to death between Aug. 14 and Aug. 16, 2004, as they slept on Fish Head Beach near Jenner in Sonoma County. The case remained unsolved until 2017, when Gallon was accused of using a rifle to kill his younger brother, 36-year-old Shamus Gallon, in the Forestville home they shared with their mother. Following his arrest, Shaun Gallon confessed to the Allen-Cutshall homicides. He pleaded no contest June 13 to all three killings. At the time, Sonoma County officials said there was no apparent motive for Gallon to shoot his brother. “There doesn’t appear to be an altercation of any significance that led to the shooting,” Sgt. Spencer Crum told the Press Democrat. Even prior to his brother’s slaying, Shaun Gallon’s name had long been on law enforcement’s radar. The San Francisco Chronicle reported he was well-known for his erratic behavior, and his rap sheet was a long one. He was convicted in 2009 of assault with a deadly weapon for shooting an arrow at a man in Guerneville, the Chronicle reported. His Facebook page shows multiple photos of homemade bows and arrows, as well as a photo of hiself with a spear he made. “Further, Gallon was also alleged to have attempted to kill a Monte Rio man in June 2004 by using a disguised homemade explosive device, and seriously injuring a second unintended victim when it detonated,” a news release from the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office read. Gallon was charged in 2017 with felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, as well as possession of an illegal assault rifle, the district attorney said. The charges to which Gallon pleaded no contest are lengthy, court records show. “There were multiple special allegations and enhancements alleged against Gallon, including that he murdered multiple victims, that he committed great bodily injury on those victims, that he used a firearm to inflict great bodily injury on each of his murder victims and that he had suffered a prior ‘strike’ conviction in 2009 for assault with a deadly weapon,” Ravitch’s news release said. “In his change of pleas, Gallon admitted all charges and enhancements.” Gallon waived all rights of appeal by entering into the plea agreement. Ravitch said the agreement was reached after a review of the records, a review of mitigating material offered by the defense and talks with the victims’ families, as well as the surviving victims of Gallon’s prior crimes. Photos recovered from their camera shows they took photos of one another in front of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, the newspaper reported. They then headed north in Cutshall’s red 1992 Ford Tempo for the Sonoma coast, where they found themselves in Jenner, a village Allen had visited a few years earlier. Several witnesses, some conflicting, reported seeing the couple along the way as they stopped for gas and other items. A front desk clerk at the Jenner Inn told police the couple showed up there either Friday, Aug. 13, or the following night. Though the couple ate at the inn, there were no available rooms, so they said they would camp outdoors instead, the Chronicle said. The manager, who declined to give her name, said she chatted with the couple again the following morning when they came in for breakfast. “I asked them if they were having fun,” the woman told the newspaper. “They said they stopped in San Francisco. They were just a happy couple trying to get away for the weekend.” Various accounts indicate Allen and Cutshall were told Fish Head Beach would be a good spot to camp, even though it was illegal to sleep on the beach there.  Police believe it was the night of Aug. 14, 2004, when the couple parked Cutshall’s Tempo in a pullout along nearby Highway 1 before setting up their gear on the beach. According to Sonoma magazine, both made notations in a visitor’s log kept near the beach. “As I stir this mac and cheese, I think to myself, ‘What a wonderful life,’” Allen wrote. “I’ve just spent two awesome days with my fiancée, Lindsay. Can life ever be so perfect? Only with a person who is so great. God gives me this privilege in life and He has given me a wonderful woman to enjoy it.” “The sun is going down in the horizon,” Cutshall wrote, according to the magazine. “All I see is the beams shining on the cliff face. And I know that God is awesome. I look around and I see his creation all around me.” Authorities believe the couple was killed, each by a single rifle shot to the head, that night or early the following morning as they slept in their sleeping bags, their Bible nearby. Family and friends grew concerned when the couple had not turned up back at the Christian camp by Sunday. According to the Chronicle, Lindsay was due to fly home a week later to begin planning her wedding. A missing person report was filed Monday, Aug. 16, by friends at the camp. The couple's bodies were found two days later, first spotted by deputies in a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department helicopter sent up to search for a man stuck on a cliff near Jenner, the Chronicle reported. Instead, the spotters saw two bodies in bloodstained sleeping bags. With no apparent motive -- there were no signs of robbery or sexual assault at the scene -- detectives were stymied for years. It would take another 13 years before investigators learned what happened or why. ‘I went crazy’  A Sonoma County Probation Department report, obtained by the Press Democrat, paints a disturbing portrait of Gallon’s life and shows ways in which his family shielded him from arrest before he killed his brother. Gallon’s father, David Gallon, admitted to police he got rid of his son’s guns in 2004, a week after Allen and Cutshall were found slain. Shaun Gallon, who had been arrested on unrelated weapons charges, called his father and asked him to dispose of the weapons. David Gallon told investigators he did so “because he feared (Shaun) Gallon was unstable,” the document says. The records show Shaun Gallon became a potential suspect in the double homicide on the beach after deputies found him near a beach in Guerneville with a loaded, stolen gun in the pocket of his camouflage jumpsuit.
  • President Donald Trump plans to nominate lawyer Eugene Scalia, son of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, to serve as his next labor secretary, according to an announcement posted Thursday on Twitter. >> Read more trending news  Scalia, 55, is a partner in the Washington office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where he specializes in administrative law and handles cases related to labor and employment, according to The Washington Post and NPR. He previously served as solicitor of the U.S. Department of Labor under President George W. Bush. He also served as special assistant to Attorney General William Barr during his previous tenure as Bush's attorney general. 'I am pleased to announce that it is my intention to nominate Gene Scalia as the new Secretary of Labor,' Trump wrote Thursday in a Twitter post.  'Gene has led a life of great success in the legal and labor field and is highly respected not only as a lawyer, but as a lawyer with great experience working with labor and everyone else.'  Scalia has long represented companies that have pushed back against unions and strengthening labor laws, The New York Times reported. In 2005, he was hired by Walmart after former employees sued the company, claiming they had been illegally fired for whistle-blowing, according to NPR. His nomination is likely to get some pushback from Democrats, though he's expected to be easily confirmed in the Republican-controlled Senate, according to the Times and the Post. If confirmed, Scalia will replace outgoing Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, who announced his resignation last week amid criticism of his handling of a secret 2008 plea deal with Jeffrey Epstein. The deal, which came under renewed scrutiny after federal authorities revealed new sex trafficking charges against Epstein last week, allowed the 66-year-old to avoid significant jail time and federal prosecution after he was accused of molesting teenage girls. Acosta's deputy, Patrick Pizzella, will serve as acting secretary of labor after his resignation goes into effect Friday. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shared photos of Bago the manatee’s return to the wild.  The 800-pounder was rescued from the cold waters of Lake Griffin State Park in January. He spent the last six months recovering from stress at SeaWorld's Marine Animal Rescue in Orlando Central Florida News 13 reported that the sea cow was hesitant to leave the plush environment and go back to the wild.  App users click here to see the video.  Officials eventually were able to get Bago to cooperate and released him in the St. Johns River near Palatka.  But not before he was fitted  with a tracking device so that researchers can follow his progress.
  • A cruise line worker is accused of trying to smuggle himself out of the U.S. in a case that spans from Port Canaveral to the Canadian border. Investigators said Kenyan national Fuwad Nassir was barely on the job two weeks when he jumped ship. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Nassir told Canadian officials he was seeking asylum Nassir saw a judge Thursday afternoon, but it's not clear who will prosecute this case. It could be the Brevard or Seminole State Attorney's Office or the statewide prosecutor. With a half-million-dollar bond, Nassir isn't likely to be going anywhere anytime soon. Nassir was in a Brevard County courtroom Thursday, facing a charge of conspiracy to commit human smuggling after investigators said he deserted his position aboard the Carnival Liberty at Port Canaveral back in October in violation of his visa. FDLE said he then caught a ride with an in-law who flew into Florida from Utah to pick him up and drove him to New York state, where he attempted to cross into Canada by way of the Rainbow Bridge point of entry.  Officials there refused him entry and turned Nassir over to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He remained in federal detention until his return to Brevard County.  Carnival Cruise Lines officials said the company would not comment specifically on this case. 

Washington Insider

  • A day after distancing himself from a campaign rally crowd which chanted, 'Send her back' about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), President Donald Trump on Friday had more tough words for Omar from the Oval Office, making it clear he's not backing away from his criticism of a group of minority women Democratic lawmakers in the Congress. 'I'm unhappy when a Congresswoman goes and says, 'I'm going to be the President's nightmare,'' Mr. Trump said on Friday, as he called those attending his North Carolina campaign rally, 'incredible people and incredible patriots.' 'She's lucky to be where she is,' the President said of Omar, who called Mr. Trump a 'fascist' on Thursday. 'The things that she has said are a disgrace to our country,' the President added. Just as the President hasn't backed off his criticism of Omar, who emigrated to the U.S. from Somalia as a child, the freshmen from Minnesota hasn't pulled any punches with Mr. Trump in recent days. 'We have said this President is racist,' Omar told reporters outside the Capitol on Thursday. 'We have said he is fascist.' As Omar arrived back in Minneapolis, a crowd of supporters greeted her at the airport 'When I said I was the president's nightmare, well you're watching it now,” Omar told a cheering crowd. “Because his nightmare is seeing a Somali-immigrant refugee rise to Congress,” she added. Some Republicans have joined the President in going after Omar, especially targeting her positions on Israel. 'When will the Left condemn this rank anti-Semitism and take some responsibility?' said Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO). 'It’s official - Omar is a loon & utterly ignorant of history,' tweeted former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.