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Flashpoint Ferguson: Latest news on crisis roiling U.S.

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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Articles by Stephen Dinan

** FILE ** The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington is seen here on March 22, 2013. (Associated Press)

Prisoners get millions in bogus tax refunds

Prisoners continue to claim bogus tax refunds, to a tune of more than $1 billion in 2012, and the IRS has yet to take enough steps to combat it, the agency's inspector general reported Tuesday. Published November 25, 2014

President Barack Obama turns around as he is interrupted by a woman on stage during his remarks at the Copernicus Community Center in Chicago to discuss immigration reform, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. Obama visited his hometown to promote his executive action on immigration. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama tells immigration hecklers he's met their demands

President Obama on Tuesday told hecklers it no longer makes sense to criticize him for deportations, saying that his executive action last week to grant temporary amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. Published November 25, 2014

The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington. The agency has been under fire for what critics say are politically motivated attacks against conservative organizations. (Associated Press)

IRS inspector general to release documents on privacy probe

The IRS inspector general has amassed 2,500 documents detailing its own investigations into whether the tax agency gave the White House private taxpayer information, and the Obama administration agreed this week to release the documents in what an advocacy group called a major win for transparency. Published November 25, 2014

Detainees sleep in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility in Brownsville, Texas. The Obama administration quietly announced a program late last week to create a legal channel for thousands of Central American children to come to the U.S., a move designed to prevent a repeat of this summer's illegal immigrant surge but which Republicans said amounted to "border sabotage." (Associated Press)

Most immigrant kids lack lawyers, but those who have them get to stay: Study

Having a lawyer is the key to illegal immigrant children being able to stay in the U.S. — but fewer of them are appearing in court with lawyers, thanks to the recent surge of unaccompanied minors that has overwhelmed the system, according to new numbers released Tuesday by the Transactional Records Clearing House. Published November 25, 2014

President Obama's amnesty policy is drawing near-unanimous approval from Hispanics, presenting a problem for Republicans hoping to draw away votes in 2016. (Associated Press)

Obama's amnesty gets 90 percent approval from Hispanics

President Obama's move to grant nearly 5 million illegal immigrants amnesty from deportation has united Hispanic voters in an unprecedented fashion, leaving them firmly behind the White House and Democrats and adamant about opposing Republicans' plans to rescind the new policy, a leading pollster said Monday. Published November 24, 2014

Rep. Trey Gowdy, South Carolina Republican, is among a growing number of GOP figures calling for President Obama to take a tougher approach to the Ebola crisis, including travel restrictions for West African countries ravaged by the disease. (Associated Press)

John Boehner reappoints Trey Gowdy to lead Benghazi probe

Saying there are still "far too many questions" unanswered, House Speaker John A. Boehner reappointed Rep. Trey Gowdy Monday to lead his chamber's inquiry into the Benghazi terrorist attack just a few days after a House committee cleared the CIA of most wrongdoing, in a move that signaled the GOP is not satisfied with those conclusions. Published November 24, 2014

President Obama drew a number of lines in his executive order, slicing and dicing the illegal immigrant community. To qualify for the new deferred action program, someone has to have been in the U.S. for at least five years and have either a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident child. (Associated Press)

Obama amnesty leaves most illegal immigrants still in fear of deportation

The White House says President Obama's new executive action on immigration cleared nearly 5 million illegal immigrants from any danger of deportation, but that still leaves more than half the population currently in the U.S. illegally in at least some fear of being kicked out. Published November 23, 2014

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks with the media in Phoenix on Jan. 9, 2013. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Sheriff Joe Arpaio sues Obama to halt executive amnesty

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio filed the first lawsuit late Thursday seeking to halt President Obama's new executive action on immigration, saying he has abused his presidential powers and ignored the Constitution and the will of Congress. Published November 21, 2014

Lois G. Lerner (Associated Press)

Investigators may have found up to 30K Lois Lerner emails

The IRS's inspector general has told Congress that it may have discovered as many as 30,000 of the lost Lois G. Lerner emails, despite the IRS's repeated insistence both in testimony to both Capitol Hill and federal courts that they were beyond recovery, congressional committees said Friday. Published November 21, 2014

FILE - In this March 10, 2010 file photo, Leroy Watson holds a sign in support of hundreds of young people participating in a youth immigration rally in Chicago. President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit the Chicago area next Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014 to detail his expansive executive action aimed at keeping roughly 5 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally from deportation. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green,File)

Justice Dept. releases legal backing for Obama immigration moves

The Justice Department said President Obama's new executive action granting amnesty from deportation to illegal immigrant parents is legal because he limited it to those whose children could eventually petition for them to stay anyway. Published November 21, 2014

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

CIA acted properly in Benghazi but slow to spot terrorism: Bipartisan report

The House intelligence committee cleared the CIA of wrongdoing in the run-up to the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack and its actions during the assault, but said in a newly declassified report Friday that the way the agency wrote the controversial talking points afterwards was "flawed." Published November 21, 2014

Boehner predicts new surge of illegal immigration

House Speaker John A. Boehner would not say Friday what action he and his colleagues will take to push back against President Obama's executive immigration moves, but vowed something will happen. Published November 21, 2014

Supporters gather during a rally organized by OneAmerica as part of a National Week of Action to demand robust executive measures to stop deportations and keep families together Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014, in Seattle. President Barack Obama is expected to announce his plan to use executive action to partially change the nation's immigration system Thursday night. (AP Photo/, Jordan Stead)

Illegals get a pay raise while current American workers’ checks could get squeezed

Illegal immigrants stand to make out nicely, seeing a big jump in their wages under President Obama's policy, announced Thursday, granting millions of them temporary amnesty and the chance to work legally, but analysts say American workers in some jobs are likely to feel a pinch from new competitors. Published November 20, 2014

Supporters gather during a rally organized by OneAmerica as part of a National Week of Action to demand robust executive measures to stop deportations and keep families together Thursday, November 20, 2014, in Seattle. President Barack Obama is expected to announce his plan to use executive action to partially change the nation's immigration system Thursday night. (AP Photo/, Jordan Stead)

Obama amnesty doesn't shield enough illegal immigrants, activists say

President Obama's executive amnesty would shield up to 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation and grant most of them work permits — but immigrant-rights activists had hoped for much more, saying he left a number of hard-working illegal immigrants still in danger of being separated from their families. Published November 20, 2014

Prior to the Senate's vote on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. walks to his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the bill's sponsor, has 59 votes ready and is searching for the last vote needed for approval. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

McConnell: Obama's executive action will lead to immigrant deaths

Sen. Mitch McConnell warned Thursday that some would-be illegal immigrants could die trying to reach the U.S. thanks to President Obama's plans to offer a temporary amnesty, saying it will amount to an invitation for a new wave of illegal immigrants to make the perilous journey from Latin America. Published November 20, 2014

FILE- This Sept. 14, 2014, file photo shows a sign reading 'Kill Ebola Before Ebola Kill You', on a gate as part of the country's Ebola awareness campaign in the city of  Freetown, Sierra Leone. The government's worst-case scenario forecast for the Ebola epidemic in West Africa won't happen, a U.S. health official said Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/ Michael Duff, File)

DHS: Visitors from Ebola countries can remain in U.S. for 18 months

Hours before President Obama announces a temporary amnesty for many illegal immigrants, his Homeland Security Department said Thursday it will grant a specific exemption allowing citizens from Ebola-affected West African countries to remain in the U.S. Published November 20, 2014

**FILE** Virginia Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee (Associated Press)

Obama immigration action 'slap in the face,' top GOP lawmakers say

The top House Republicans who oversee immigration policy called President Obama's expected action this week to grant temporary amnesty to illegal immigrants a "slap in the face to the American people and the Constitution" in a letter sent Wednesday. Published November 19, 2014

FILE - In this June 25, 2014 photo shows a group of  immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally are stopped in Granjeno, Texas. The influx at the border is largely families with children or by minors traveling alone. From October 2012 through the end of September 2013, the U.S. Border Patrol apprehended about 24,000 unaccompanied children. But between October and the end of June 2014, the number shot up to 57,000. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson testified recently that the number is accelerating so fast that it could reach 90,000 by the end of September. Most of them are coming from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

DHS secretary says country could face new surge of illegals

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson warned Wednesday that the country could face another spike in illegal immigration as the U.S. economy picks up and as seasonal patterns change, though he said they have made major progress in combatting the surge of illegal immigrant children that wrong-footed his department earlier this year. Published November 19, 2014