<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - Miami Political News and South Florida Politics]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/politics http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.comen-usWed, 26 Jul 2017 00:52:10 -0400Wed, 26 Jul 2017 00:52:10 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Sen. John McCain Returns to Senate Floor]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 16:52:08 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/DIT+MCCAIN+RETURN+THUMB.jpg

Sen. John McCain returned to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to cast a vote to start debate on the Senate GOP health care bill. McCain had been absent from the Senate since he was diagnosed with brain cancer.

<![CDATA[Trump Doubles Down on Sessions Criticism]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 16:34:08 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Trump_on_Sessions-150101355642900001.jpg

President Donald Trump's slipping confidence in Attorney General Jeff Sessions was on full display on Tuesday, after he took the opportunity to double down on his criticism of Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the Russian investigation. 

<![CDATA[Trump Praises Senate for Moving on Health Care Reform]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 16:37:54 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Trump_Senate_Health_Care-150101350505600001.jpg

President Donald Trump, during a Tuesday news conference with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, praised the Senate for voting to move forward on health care reform.

<![CDATA[Calif. Gov. Extends Climate Change Bill, Adds 10 Years]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 22:41:03 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/173*120/gov+brown-0627.jpg

Gov. Jerry Brown signs legislation Tuesday keeping alive California's signature initiative to fight global warming, which puts a cap and a price on climate-changing emissions.

The Democratic governor was joined by his celebrity predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who signed the 2006 bill that led to the creation of the nation's only cap and trade system to reduce greenhouse gases in all industries.

The program has become closely watched around the world, promoted by Schwarzenegger and Brown alike a successful way to reduce emissions that hasn't taken the steam out of California's thriving economy.

Brown's signature added 10 years to the program, which had been scheduled to expire in 2020. It follows a frenetic push by Brown and his legislative allies to craft a plan that businesses and environmentalists would both find acceptable.

In the end, the extension was supported by a wide range of business and environmental groups that said it's the most cost-effective way to combat climate change. But it met fierce opposition from environmental justice groups that said it's riddled with giveaways to the oil industry, including too many free pollution permits.

Schwarzenegger signed a bill in 2006 that authorized state environmental regulators to create a cap and trade program, but the authorization would have expired in 2020 without action from lawmakers.

After the extension passed, Schwarzenegger highlighted the support from eight Republican lawmakers, saying they've shown that the GOP can get behind free-market solutions to climate change.

Schwarzenegger's bill required the state to reduce its carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 — a target the state is on track to meet. Legislation approved last year set a new, much more aggressive goal to reduce emissions another 40 percent by 2030.

Cap and trade puts a limit on carbon emissions and requires polluters to obtain permits to release greenhouse gases. Some permits, known as allowances, are given away while others are auctioned, generating billions of dollars in revenue for the state. The money is a key funding source for a high-speed train between San Francisco and Los Angeles, one of Brown's top priorities.

The governor's office said he'll sign separate legislation tied to the cap and trade extension later this week. That includes a bill that could give Republicans more say in spending the money and another to improve efforts to monitor and clean up the air around some of the dirtiest sources of pollution, such as oil refineries.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Did Trump Declassify Secret CIA Program With a Tweet?]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 13:43:24 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/donaldtrumpvoterfraud.jpg

In a series of Monday night Tweets attacking what he refers to as the “Amazon Washington Post,” U.S. President Donald Trump apparently declassified a CIA program to arm Syrian rebels, NBC News reports.

"The Amazon Washington Post fabricated the facts on my ending massive, dangerous, and wasteful payments to Syrian rebels fighting Assad.....," Trump wrote, calling the Post's stories "Fake News" and accusing the paper of being a "Lobbyist for Amazon and taxes."

Last week the Washington Post first reported that Trump had decided to end a covert CIA program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels.

The program, which the Obama administration initiated in 2013, has always been classified, with U.S. government and military officials declining to ever confirm its existence on the record.

Photo Credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Former Scouts, Organizers React to Trump's Political Speech]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 16:17:46 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/priAP_17205844006665.jpg

President Donald Trump's appearance at a national Boy Scout event hit a nerve with many former scouts and parents of scouts after his speech turned political. The organization responded to the backlash by stressing its non-partisan roots.

At the Boys Scouts of America's National Jamboree in West Virginia on Monday, the president brought up issues such as health care, "fake media," and "the swamp" in Washington.

Many in the crowd of 40,000 scouts, leaders and volunteers booed when Trump asked whether former President Barack Obama had come to a Jamboree. Video clips also showed them jeering Hillary Clinton after Trump said that his election opponent "didn't work hard" in Michigan. The scouts also chanted "we love Trump." 

Former scouts and parents took to social media to express opposition to the politicized speech.

The Boy Scouts of America's Facebook page was inundated with comments about Trump on posts both about and unrelated to the Jamboree.

User Beth Mitchell Huntsberry commented, "The BSA should immediately lose their tax exempt status. I will no longer be associated with the organization. My time and money will go elsewhere."

"No, I am the proud mother of a former scout who was sheltered from that pack of lies speech at the Jamboree. Done with scouts after you felt the need to have my kid listen to a liar stroke his ego on our time," said Jude Nevans Cleaver, another Facebook commenter.

Some drew comparisons between the president's speech in front of the Boy Scouts and his campaign-style rallies. 

National Scout Jamborees are typically held every four years and Trump is the eighth president to attend, The Associated Press reported. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were Boy Scouts, while Trump was not a member of the organization. Obama, a former member of the Indonesian Scout Association, addressed a 100th anniversary event in 2010 by video.

Pete Souza, a White House photographer for Obama during his presidency, posted an Instagram photo following Trump's speech showing his former boss meeting a cub scout. 

In a statement in response to the backlash, the Boy Scouts of America noted that the organization is non-partisan. They said that inviting the sitting president to the National Jamboree is a "long-standing tradition."

"The Boy Scouts of America is wholly non-partisan and does not promote any one position, product, service, political candidate or philosophy. The invitation for the sitting U.S. President to visit the National Jamboree is a long-standing tradition and is in no way an endorsement of any political party or specific policies."

The statement added that the "sitting U.S. President serves as the BSA's honorary president. It is our long-standing custom to invite the U.S. President to the National Jamboree."

The White House has not responded to a request for comment.

CORRECTION (July 25, 4:16 p.m. ET): The article misidentified the scouting organization that former President Barack Obama belonged to. He was a member of the Indonesian Scout Association, not the Boy Scouts of America.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Federal Judge Blocks Mass Deportation of Iraqis]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 01:25:04 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP_17172716428292.jpg

A federal judge in Detroit Monday halted the deportation of more than 1,400 Iraqi nationals, NBC News reported.

The Iraqis, many of whom are part of their home country's Christian minority, could face "grave harm and possible death" if sent back to Iraq, U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith ruled, granting a request for preliminary injunction.

Goldsmith said the government's position to deport them is "inconsistent" with the Constitution.

The government targeted the Iraqis, who have criminal convictions or overstayed their visas, over long-standing deportation orders. More than half had been in the United States for more than a decade because Iraq refused to issue travel documents, the ruling says.

Photo Credit: Carlos Osorio/AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Fact Checking Trump's Remarks on Health Care]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 21:57:43 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/tru6AP_17205761619358.jpg

President Donald Trump on Monday, in delivering remarks about health care, said the former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act has caused "nothing but pain."

He concluded Obama's health bill has "broken our healthcare system, it’s broken, it’s collapsing, it’s gone."

Despite the president's claims about the existing health bill, there’s little evidence of an imminent failure, NBC News reported.

The Congressional Budget Office has indicated Obamacare exchanges are stabilizing, although it suggested some sparsely populated areas may struggle to find insurers. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Immigrant Sanctuary Movement Grows Under President Trump]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 12:41:15 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/NURY-Chavarria-NORWALK.jpg

A Connecticut mother who has taken refuge in a church to avoid deportation is one of a dozen immigrants staying in houses of worship nationwide under a sanctuary movement invigorated by President Trump’s positions on undocumented immigration.

The case of Nury Chavarria, which has received national attention, comes after the Trump administration expanded the categories of people to be deported and specified that no one was protected.

Chavarria refused to leave for Guatemala last week as ordered by U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement, instead fleeing to Iglesia De Dios Pentecostal in New Haven. The 43-year-old single mother of four, who entered the United States illegally in 1993, said she did not want to be separated from her children.

Her oldest, her 21-year-old son, has cerebral palsy, according to the Hartford Courant. Her youngest, 9-year-old Hayley, issued a public plea on behalf of her mother. 

While Chavarria remains in the church, it is unlikely that ICE agents will move to detain her. The agency typically avoids making arrests at what it calls "sensitive locations," including houses of worship, schools and hospitals and doctors' offices, though exceptions can be made. ICE also tries to steer clear of religious and civil ceremonies such as funerals and weddings.

The agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the status of the policy. It appears to remain in effect, according to its website.

Kica Matos, the director of immigrant rights and racial justice for the Center for Community Change, who is representing Chavarria, said she expected ICE to fully honor its policy and not try to deport Chavarria while she remains inside the church.

Church World Service, a coalition of Christian denominations that has assisted refugees for 70 years, said it knows of no instances in which ICE agents entered a congregation. There have been cases of ICE agents waiting across the street, it said, and of arrests taking place near a church and school.

In Fairfax, Virginia, in February, ICE agents detained men who had just left a church shelter, where they had gone to stay warm. ICE told Time magazine that the location was a coincidence and that it was not targeting churches. In Los Angeles in March, a father who had been ordered deported, Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, was taken into custody blocks from his 12-year-old daughter’s school, where he had dropped her off. Another daughter was in the car with him.

The sanctuary movement began in the 1980s under President Reagan and was revived under President Barack Obama.

“It’s grown a lot, and after the election is when we saw just a bigger spike,” said Myrna Orozco Gallos, an associate with the Church World Service’s Immigration and Refugee Program. 

The number of congregations offering to provide sanctuary has jumped from 400 to 800 since Trump took office. Although raids took place during the Obama administration too, ICE's detentions have gotten new attention because of Trump's stance on undocumented immigrants.

The organization has kept track of 29 public cases in the last three years, she said.

Chavarria, a housekeeper who has no criminal record and pays taxes, applied for asylum when she arrived but was denied. She was supposed to leave the country in 1998, but did not comply, and then in 2010, was given a one-year stay of the deportation order on humanitarian grounds. She complied with yearly check-ins with immigration officials and each year received an extension of the stay to allow her to raise her American-born children — until June, when an ICE official told her she had to depart by Thursday.

“I told him, 'I’m not a criminal,'” she said last week. “I’m a mother of four children. They are citizens, USA. I want to stay here to help them and keep my family together.”

Chavarria’s supporters are hoping to win her another reprieve. Connecticut U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat, is among those urging that her case be reconsidered. He told the Hartford Courant that Chavarria had ineffective counsel in her asylum case; other members of her family were granted asylum, he said, while her attorney was later disbarred.

Among the dozen people who have sought refuge is Ismael Delgado, who has been staying at a church in Phoenix, Arizona, since October 2015, according to the United Church of Christ. Delgado, who ran a restaurant, has lived in the United States for 20 years and has two children.

Another undocumented immigrant, Jose Juan Federico Moreno, took shelter in a church on the South Side of Chicago more than a year ago rather than return to Mexico. Moreno, who worked for a furniture moving company, was targetted after getting a DUI in 2009.

Others will stay only a few months.

There have been successes among the movement. Two immigrants, Jeanette Vizguerra and Arturo Garcia from Denver, both received two-year reprieves in May. Vizguerra, who is from Mexico and who has lived in the United States for 20 years, left a Baptist church in Denver after she got a stay until 2019. Garcia, who is also from Mexico, had lived in the basement of a Unitarian church in 2014 and 2015 but emerged when he was told his case was not a priority, according to the Denver Post. Garcia, who owned a floor tile-laying business with his brother, was arrested in April 2016 and later was granted a stay, the newspaper reported.

Church World Service is holding a meeting in Texas on July 28 and July 29 at the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Its goal is to provide training and to develop a framework for the sanctuary movement.

Here are the other undocumented immigrants living in houses of worship across the country, according to published reports and Church World Service:

Rosa Sabido, a Mexican national, has taken refuge in a church in Mancos, Colorado. She had lived in the United States for 30 years on visitor visas or through stays of deportation but faced immediate deportation in May. Residents have volunteered to stay overnight at the church to make sure she was not alone. Her lawyer told the Los Angeles Times she had no criminal record and had worked as a church secretary and tax preparer at H&R Block. Sabido applied for permanent residency in 2001, a case that is pending, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Juana Ortega, an undocumented grandmother from Guatemala, took sanctuary at a church in Greensboro, North Carolina, in May. She came to the United States in 1993, seeking asylum, and when her attempts failed got repeated stays on her removal order, according to CNN. At her first check-in with ICE under Trump’s administration she was told she had until the end of May to leave. Ortega is married to an American citizen; her youngest child is a teen-ager, CNN reported.

Minerva Garcia is a mother from Mexico who has worked temporary jobs, has no criminal record and has paid taxes for 17 years, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. She also sought refuge at a church in Greensboro, North Carolina, when she was facing deportation at the end of June. Garcia came to the United States looking for better care for her oldest son, who is blind and who was 5 at the time.

In Philadelphia, Javier Flores, the father of three U.S.-born children, moved into a church in November, according to Philly.com. He entered the country illegally in 1997 and has been deported multiple times. He re-entered, also illegally, to be with his wife and children. He applied for a special visa available to undocumented immigrants who assist authorities in the prosecution of a crime in which they were injured. Flores was attacked with box cutters in an apparent failed robbery.

A Reno, Nevada, church gave sanctuary to David Chavez-Macias in April. Chavez-Macias, who has lived in Reno for 29 years, had a work permit that was revoked because of a traffic ticket — he turned left on a red light. He has Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder that weakens his heart, and he relies on treatment in the United States, according to NBC affiliate KRNV.

Emma Membreno-Sorto, a Honduran immigrant who has been ordered deported, took shelter at a church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in March. Membreno-Sorto applied for political asylum when she arrived from Honduras about 25 years ago, but did not receive notice of a court date, according to the Albuquerque Journal. She moved from Atlanta to Colorado to New Mexico and learned of the deportation order when she was taken into custody at her home in 2011. She has only one traffic ticket and no criminal history, the newspaper reported. Her husband is a U.S. citizen.

Sixto Paz, a homeowner and the father of three U.S. citizens, moved into a church in Phoenix, Arizona, in May 2016. He started working in the United States through a government amnesty program in the 1980s, but an immigration court in Phoenix denied his petition to stay in the country, according KPHO. He had been working as a roofer.

Lorenzo Solorzano Morales has been staying at the Faith, Life and Hope and St. Peter the Apostle Mission in Chicago with his wife and 7-year-old daughter since October. He faces deportation for an arrest on a domestic battery charge in November 2011, according to the Chicago Tribune. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge, accused of pulling a woman’s hair during an argument, the newspaper reported. A landscaper, he has lived in the United States for 30 years.

A woman who has remained anonymous sought refuge at a church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in May. She told the Boston Globe that a man took her against her will from her hometown in Ecuador to the United States. She was arrested crossing the border in 2012 and was detained in Arizona for about a year because she could not pay $7,500 in bail; eventually she was released and went to the Boston area. She got a job as a cook, had two children with a partner but lost her asylum case and an appeal, according to the Boston Globe.

Correction (July 24, 6:45 p.m. ET): An earlier photo caption misspelled Nury Chavarria's surname. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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<![CDATA[Trump Blames GOP, Dems for Health Care Repeal Struggle]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:27:59 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Trump_Blames_GOP_Dems_for_ObamaCare-150092696887500001.jpg

President Donald Trump criticized GOP senators who have failed to move forward with a health care repeal, claiming they have not "done their job." He also called Democrats in Congress "obstructionists." 

<![CDATA[Congressman Uses Sounds of Scalise Shooting in Campaign Ad]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:11:05 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/AP_17165501432247.jpg

An Alabama congressman running for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ former Senate seat is facing criticism for using in a campaign ad audio recorded of the June shooting that seriously injured House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise.

The ad opens with the sounds of gunfire and frantic yelling from the shooting, which took place during a congressional baseball team practice, NBC News reports. Text on screen then calls attention to the fact that the gunman was a supporter of former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Sanders has previously referred to the shooting as a “despicable act.”

Tea Party favorite Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., says in the ad that despite the fact he was present for the June shooting, he remains a steadfast Second Amendment supporter.

Photo Credit: Cliff Owen/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Kushner Denies Collusion With Russia]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:44:18 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/kushnerdeniescollusion_17086178_1200x675_1007643203529.jpg

Jared Kushner denies that he had any ties to Russia during President Trump's election campaign.

<![CDATA[US Military Plane Intercepted by Chinese Fighter Jets]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:20:07 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/chinaJ10jet_1200x675.jpg

U.S. military officials confirmed two Chinese fighter jets intercepted and almost collided with a U.S. military surveillance aircraft in the East China Sea this weekend, NBC News reported. 

One of the Chinese J-10 fighter jets flew underneath U.S. Navy EP-3 on Sunday and then suddenly was in front of the aircraft. The maneuver forced U.S. reconnaissance jet to take "evasive action" to avoid a collision, officials said.

U.S. military officials described the maneuver was unsafe and unprofessional as they have with similar past incidents earlier this year.  

Photo Credit: AP ]]>
<![CDATA[White House Gives Mixed Messages on Pardons]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 08:26:21 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/scarAP_17202665084579.jpg

Newly-hired White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci said Sunday that President Donald Trump is "thinking about pardoning nobody" in connection with the Russia investigation, according to NBC News.

"The truth of the matter is that the president is not going to have to pardon anybody because the Russia thing is a nonsensical thing," Scarmucci said on CNN’s "State of the Union." However, on "Fox News Sunday," the communications director acknowledged that he and the president discussed pardons "last week."

Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow also told ABC's "This Week" that the president's legal team has not been researching the power to pardon. A Washington Post report last week had claimed that Trump asked his advisers about his power to pardon family members, aides and even himself.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted about his power to pardon, saying, "While all agree the U.S. President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us.FAKE NEWS."

Photo Credit: Alex Brandon/AP]]>
<![CDATA[John McCain Spends Weekend Outdoors With Daughter, Friend]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 04:23:38 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/AP421965667883.jpg

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., spent the weekend outdoors about a week after undergoing surgery and being diagnosed with brain cancer, NBC News reported.

McCain, 80, tweeted a photo Sunday afternoon of himself and a friend, Joe Harper, with their feet in the Oak Creek of Zebra Falls in Arizona.

The senator's daughter Maghan McCain also tweeted a photo of the outing, which she used to thank supporters for their well wishes in the wake of her dad's diagnosis.

McCain underwent surgery to remove a blood clot on July 14 and was subsequently diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.

Photo Credit: 414088103 /AP, File
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<![CDATA[GOP Legislative Agenda Stalled Amid Ideological Divides]]> Sun, 23 Jul 2017 06:41:23 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/senate-gop.jpg

Despite having control of both chambers of Congress and the White House, Republicans are struggling to pass major aspects their legislative agenda and face many issues that interfere with the party's ability to govern, NBC News reported.

In Congress, Republicans face differences within party on health care reform, a dynamic that threatens to intrude on other major issues like the federal budget. At the White House, President Donald Trump has been fixated on investigations, leaving him an ineffective chief spokesperson for the party and their ideas.

Party unity on key issues has proven elusive for a party with widespread ideologies, ranging from northeast centrists to religious conservatives, fiscal conservatives and small-government libertarians.

That dynamic has stymied the GOP on health care, an issue that appeared simple for the past seven years on the campaign trial and when Trump promised it would be done "on day one."

Photo Credit: Alex Brandon/AP, File]]>