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Barbershop: Border Separations

Jun 16, 2018

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A Trump administration policy of separating children from their parents on the U.S. border has prompted a crescendo of criticism among religious leaders.

They span different faiths, denominations and ages. Some of them have also helped the president gain support for his base.

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Three months ago the students from South Florida established themselves as a potent force in the gun debate with the March For Our Lives rally. This summer they're hitting the road with a new mission: turn the wave of young activism they helped spark into an energized voting bloc for the November mid-term elections.

At the annual end-of-year peace march in Chicago, organized by St. Sabina Catholic Church, Grammy-winners Chance the Rapper and Jennifer Hudson, along with former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, joined the Parkland survivors to launch a bus tour called Road to Change.

The Department of Homeland Security says 1,995 minors were separated from their "alleged adult guardians" at the southern border in just over a monthlong period.

A DHS spokesman said the separations occurred between April 19 and the end of May under the administration's relatively new "zero tolerance" policy, in which parents have also been arrested.

This week in the Russia investigations: A Justice Department report impacts Washington like a meteor; the inspector general confirms the presence of likely fraudulent intelligence; a special agent's words could be a political gift to President Trump.

Aftermath

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz has painted his masterpiece.

On the last day of school in the rural town of Cairo, on the southernmost tip of Illinois, the fire truck ran its hoses so kids could cool off in the sweltering heat. The staff barbecued burgers and hot dogs.

It was a light-hearted anecdote to what had been another tough year.

After a precipitous decline since 2012, enrollment dropped by another 100 or so students. This year there were only 26 seniors in the graduating class.

Updated, 10:15 p.m. ET

On the same day that that President Trump's former campaign chairman was sent to jail, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani floated the idea that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation could be "cleaned up" with presidential pardons.

"When the whole thing is over, things might get cleaned up with some presidential pardons," Giuliani told the New York Daily News on Friday.

With a litany of alleged ethics controversies swirling at home, embattled Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt took the show on the road this week, meeting with farmers in a handful of Midwestern states to talk about his policy agenda.

While Thursday evening's meeting in Lincoln, Neb., was polite, the reception in other states has not been as welcoming, especially when it comes to conversations about his ethanol policies.

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Here to weigh in on all these topics and more - our Friday political commentators E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution. Hey there, E.J.

E J DIONNE, BYLINE: Great to be with you.

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Yesterday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions tried a new tack in defending the zero-tolerance crackdown that is resulting in separating immigrant children from their parents at the border. Sessions quoted the Bible.

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