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Esme Cribb

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Esme

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Tuesday condemned President Donald Trump’s decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program granting legal protection to undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children.

The group’s president Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, vice president Archbishop José H. Gomez and chairmen issued a statement calling Trump’s decision to end the program “reprehensible.”

“These youth entered the U.S. as minors and often know America as their only home,” they wrote. “Now, after months of anxiety and fear about their futures, these brave young people face deportation. This decision is unacceptable and does not reflect who we are as Americans.”

They called the decision “a step back from the progress that we need to make as a country.”

“Today’s actions represent a heartbreaking moment in our history that shows the absence of mercy and good will, and a short-sighted vision for the future,” they said. “We strongly urge Congress to act and immediately resume work toward a legislative solution. We pledge our support to work on finding an expeditious means of protection for DACA youth.”

President Donald Trump on Tuesday claimed he ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to restore the balance of executive power.

Trump in a statement claimed he does “not favor punishing” undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children and were granted legal protection by the program “for the actions of their parents.”

“But we must also recognize that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws,” he said. “The legislative branch, not the executive branch, writes these laws.”

Trump claimed that former President Barack Obama “bypassed Congress” to implement the program through an executive order.

Before winning the 2016 presidential election, Trump vocally and repeatedly criticized Obama for issuing executive orders, though by March Trump had signed more executive orders than Obama had by the same point in his first term.

“There can be no path to principled immigration reform if the executive branch is able to rewrite or nullify federal laws at will,” Trump, who signed not one but two executive orders barring citizens of a handful of majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States, said.

When both orders were challenged in court, Trump’s administration cited executive authority over immigration — the same power he claimed Obama overextended by enacting the DACA program — in their defense.

“In effect, I am not going to just cut DACA off, but rather provide a window of opportunity for Congress to finally act,” Trump said Tuesday. “I look forward to working with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to finally address all of these issues in a manner that puts the hardworking citizens of our country first.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Tuesday said President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program “fulfills a promise.”

“Ending this program fulfills a promise that President Trump made to restore the proper role of the executive and legislative branches,” Ryan said in a statement.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday announced the DACA program was “being rescinded” and will not accept applications starting Wednesday.

“It is important that those affected have clarity on how this interim period will be carried out,” Ryan said.

Early Tuesday morning, Trump indicated that he would pass the buck to Congress to come up with a legislative solution to help undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children, who the program granted legal protection.

“Congress, get ready to do your job – DACA!” Trump tweeted.

Ryan said the fate of DACA recipients was “one of many immigration issues” that Congress “failed to adequately address over the years.”

“The President has called on Congress to act,” he said. “It is my hope that the House and Senate, with the President’s leadership, will be able to find consensus on a permanent legislative solution that includes ensuring that those who have done nothing wrong can still contribute as a valued part of this great country.”

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) on Tuesday said he was “not sure” what President Donald Trump meant when he told young immigrants granted legal status by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) not to worry.

The Trump administration is expected to end the program, which shields nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

Asked on MSNBC what he would tell individual DACA recipients who are worried that Trump may end the program, Kobach said they should be “grateful” for getting “the best free public education in the western hemisphere” paid for by “taxpayers.”

“They’re also paying taxes when they’re here as DREAMers. So they’re not relying on the American taxpayer. They’re relying on themselves as well, right?” MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson responded.

“No, that’s not correct. The vast majority do not pay enough in taxes to compensate for the benefits that they are receiving from the government,” Kobach replied. “So they’re net takers from the system.”

“Right, but that’s not correct. That’s not sort of what we’re talking about here,” Jackson replied.

She pressed Kobach on Trump’s remark in April that DACA recipients should “rest easy” about his administration’s immigration policies.

“How is this consistent then, ending DACA, with the President’s promise to take care of DREAMers, that these DREAMers should rest easy?” Jackson pressed. “How does that square?”

“Well, I’m not sure what the President meant when he said rest easy,” Kobach said. “And, you know, who knows.”

“He probably meant they should rest easy!” Jackson interjected.

Trump on Tuesday indicated that he would stick Congress with the job of coming up with a replacement for the DACA program.

“Congress, get ready to do your job — DACA!” he tweeted.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, on Sunday said it’s “probably past time” for his panel to issue the White House a subpoena for documents about President Donald Trump’s abrupt firing of James Comey as director of the FBI in May.

The New York Times on Friday reported that Trump and a senior adviser drew up a draft of a letter justifying Comey’s termination that was never sent out, but was recently acquired by special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Schiff on CNN’s “State of the Union” said he has not seen the document in question.

“We wrote to the White House, after the claim was made that the President had tapes of his discussions with Comey, to ask about anything memorializing any conversations with Comey,” Schiff said.

He said the White House “first responded by tweet and then by letter saying they didn’t have any such thing.”

“If this is responsive to our letter, they need to produce it,” Schiff said. “And it’s probably past time for our committee to subpoena the White House to make sure we get all relevant documents.”

Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Sunday said “any threat” to the United States, its territories or its allies will be “met with a massive military response.”

“Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam, or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming,” Mattis said.

He called on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to “take heed of the United Nations Security Council’s unified voice.”

“All members unanimously agreed on the threat North Korea poses and they remain unanimous in their commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” he said. “We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea, but as I said we have many options to do so.”

President Donald Trump said Sunday morning that he would meet with Mattis, White House chief of staff John Kelly and “other military leaders” after North Korea’s state-run media claimed its leader inspected the loading of a hydrogen bomb into a new intercontinental ballistic missile.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) on Sunday said that “nobody ought to support” President Donald Trump’s proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border if the President is referring to a literal physical barrier.

“Why should he go back on this promise, which was very popular among Republicans in places like your state?” CNN’s Dana Bash asked Flake on “State of the Union,” referring to Trump’s pledge to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

“Because it would be the right thing to do,” Flake replied. “Obviously you hope that presidents keep some of their campaign promises and you hope that they ignore others. This is one that he ought to ignore.”

He said young immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and are granted legal status under the DACA program “should not be punished for the sins of their parents.”

“That’s just the basic principle that we ought to follow here,” Flake said.

“If the President says that he will extend the protections for DREAMers but do it in exchange for funding from Congress, from you, for his border wall, would you go along with that compromise?” Bash asked.

“We still really haven’t seen what he means by the wall,” Flake said. “If that’s a metaphor for border security, we can certainly support that, but if he’s talking about a solitary brick-and-mortar 2,000-mile edifice on the border, then no. Nobody ought to support that.”

Asked how he feels about running for reelection in 2018 amid Trump’s incessant criticism, Flake said, “The people in Arizona tend to elect independent-minded, principled senators.”

“I think the voters here expect me to have my own franchise, to represent them, not to be a rubber stamp for the President,” he added. “So I’m quite comfortable being where I am.”

Former President Barack Obama left President Donald Trump several items of advice in a letter to his successor, CNN reported on Sunday.

“Congratulations on a remarkable run,” Obama wrote, according to CNN. “Millions have placed their hopes in you, and all of us, regardless of party, should hope for expanded prosperity and security during your tenure.”

He advised Trump to “build more ladders of success for every child and family that’s willing to work hard” and said “American leadership” is “indispensable.”

“It’s up to us, through action and example, to sustain the international order that’s expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War, and upon which our own wealth and safety depend,” Obama wrote.

He wrote that presidents are “guardians” of “democratic institutions and traditions” which they should strive to leave “at least as strong as we found them.”

Last, he advised Trump to “take time, in the rush of events and responsibilities, for friends and family.”

Read the letter obtained by CNN.

President Donald Trump on Sunday said he would meet with his chief of staff Gen. John Kelly, Secretary of Defense Gen. James Mattis and “other military leaders” after North Korea’s state-run media claimed its leader inspected the loading of a hydrogen bomb into a new intercontinental ballistic missile.

“I will be meeting General Kelly, General Mattis and other military leaders at the White House to discuss North Korea,” Trump tweeted.

He said the United States “is considering, in addition to other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea.”

Trump’s remarks were in contrast to his comments on the subject Sunday morning, when he called North Korea “a rogue nation” and “very hostile and dangerous to the United States.”

Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin on Sunday said he would “draft a sanctions package” on North Korea to send to Trump.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) on Sunday said economic sanctions are of limited use as a deterrent to North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests.

“I think, given where they are, we see the limits of economic sanctions, obviously, on North Korea,” Flake said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

He said North Korea seems “intent on moving forward.”

“What we’ve been doing over the years has certainly not slowed the advance of their nuclear program. But I don’t think that harsh rhetoric does either,” Flake said.

President Donald Trump on Sunday condemned North Korea for conducting what the nation’s state-run media claimed was the loading of a hydrogen bomb into a new intercontinental ballistic missile.

Trump called it “a major Nuclear Test,” and called North Korea “a rogue nation” and “very hostile and dangerous to the United States.”

Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin on Sunday said he would “draft a sanctions package” on North Korea to send to Trump “for his strong consideration.”

“Certainly sanctions are not arresting that development either, so just about nothing we’ve done so far has helped slow it down,” Flake said. “I think that they are moving.”

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