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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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Articles by Stephen Dinan

FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2105 file photo, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson speaks in Washington. Johnson said Thursday, The gyrocopter that landed on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol "apparently literally flew in under the radar."  (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

Illegal immigration plummets along southwest border: DHS

The flow of illegal immigrants has dropped to its lowest level in years judging by the number being apprehended along the border, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Friday as he sought to be more transparent about his department's performance. Published April 24, 2015

United States Attorney Sally Yates (Associated Press) **FILE**

Senate panel approves deputy attorney general, Loretta Lynch vote to come

The Senate Judiciary Committee cleared Sally Quillian Yates Thursday to be the next deputy attorney general, granting her bipartisan support that stood in stark contrast to the bitter partisan divide over Loretta Lynch, the women facing a final vote on becoming the top official at the Justice Department. Published April 23, 2015

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, speaks during her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 26, 2015. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Pelosi says trade fight isn't attack on Obama

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi insisted Thursday that she's fighting with, not against, President Obama on trade, saying her criticism of his request for fast-track authority to negotiate free trade deals is meant to be constructive. Published April 23, 2015

Migrants have been using several methods to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, such as hopping aboard trains bound for the north. Critics of President Obama's amnesty say immigration enforcement has become lax and that too many beds at processing facilities for illegal crossers in the U.S. continue to go unused. (Associated Press)

Illegal immigrant deportations plummet as amnesty hampers removal efforts

Deportations have plummeted by another 25 percent so far this year, with the government even struggling to find enough criminals to kick out of the country, according to the latest statistics that suggest President Obama's amnesty has hampered removal efforts. Published April 23, 2015

A woman and child are escorted to a van by detention facility guards inside the Artesia Family Residential Center, a federal detention facility for undocumented immigrant mothers and children, in Artesia, N.M. (Associated Press)

Immigration agency: Single Hispanic females deserve asylum in U.S.

Being a single mother or witnessing a gang crime could be enough for Central American illegal immigrants to get on the path to asylum under guidance the Homeland Security Department issued last week, opening new ways for the surge of illegal immigrants to gain a legal foothold in the U.S. Published April 23, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker broke from the GOP by saying that there should be limits on how many legal immigrants should be allowed to enter the U.S. (Associated Press)

Scott Walker: There should be limits on legal immigration

The latest Census Bureau projections show immigrants will account for 14.8 percent of the U.S. population early in the next decade, setting an all-time record and raising questions about whether the country has the ability to assimilate newcomers at such a torrid pace. Published April 22, 2015

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, shot back at President Obama a day after he said she was "wrong on this." Ms. Warren said if the trade deal the president is negotiating with Pacific nations is as good for Americans as the president says, he should make the agreement public now. (Associated Press)

Obama undercut by Elizabeth Warren, Democrats on Asia trade deal

President Obama lost the first skirmish Wednesday in his push for fast-track powers to negotiate trade deals with Asian and Pacific nations when the Senate Finance Committee voted for tougher penalties on countries deemed guilty of manipulating their currencies — a move the administration says could threaten the negotiations. Published April 22, 2015

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen denied that his agency had singled out taxpayers' customer service for special reductions. (Associated Press)

IRS 'deliberately' cut customer service, made tax season extra painful

The IRS "deliberately" cut its customer service this year, making the tax season more painful than it had to be for millions of taxpayers, House Republicans concluded in a new report Wednesday that accused the agency of wasting money on pet projects while hanging up on millions of callers. Published April 22, 2015

President Obama is pushing Congress to grant him fast-track trade authority, which would allow him to independently negotiate trade deals and then bring them to Congress for an up-or-down vote without amendments or filibuster. (Associated Press)

Obama says Elizabeth Warren, other liberals 'wrong' on free trade

President Obama said Tuesday that liberal critics, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, are wrong about the negative impact of his massive proposed free trade deal with Pacific Rim nations, and he called on Congress to give him the power to negotiate the agreement swiftly. Published April 21, 2015

A legal immigrant reads a guide of the conditions needed to apply for the so-called 'DREAMers' Obama program, formally known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights offices in Los Angeles on Aug. 15, 2012. Hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants scrambled to get papers in order as the U.S. started accepting applications to allow them to avoid deportation and get a work permit, but not a path to citizenship. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Obama gives amnesty to known gang member, 'Top Model' murder suspect

The illegal immigrant accused of killing a former "America's Next Top Model" contestant and three others in a drug-fueled spree was a known gang member with drug arrests on his record at the time he was approved for President Obama's amnesty for Dreamers, a top lawmaker revealed Tuesday. Published April 21, 2015

Democrats undermine Obama on free trade

Democrats are "overwhelmingly" opposed to both fast-track trade authority and to the Asian trade deal the administration is negotiating, exposing doubts about President Obama from within his own ranks — and an ever-shrinking number of lawmakers even willing to be persuaded by him. Published April 19, 2015

Hillary Rodham Clinton has recalibrated her stances on issues such as same-sex marriage in her latest bid for the presidency. (Associated Press)

Hillary Clinton changes positions on gay marriage, immigration and free trade

One week into her presidential campaign, Hillary Rodham Clinton has begun recalibrating her 2008 campaign stances and seeking to put some nuanced distance between herself and President Obama, hoping to find a balance that will keep her positioned for both a Democratic primary and a general election. Published April 19, 2015

The Asia free trade agreement could be a major part of President Obama's legacy, but first he'll need to deliver dozens of Democratic votes in the face of vociferous objections by labor unions and liberal pressure groups, who already have declared it a make-or-break vote. (Associated Press)

McConnell Senate on a roll after trade deal, but not everyone is happy

Top lawmakers struck a bipartisan deal Thursday to grant President Obama fast-track trade negotiating authority, potentially paving the way for a massive free trade agreement with Asia and igniting what is likely to be the top fight of the 114th Congress. Published April 16, 2015

The Internal Revenue Service Headquarters (IRS) building is seen in Washington on April 13, 2014. (Associated Press) **FILE**

IRS customer service twice as bad in first year of Obamacare tax

IRS customer service representatives managed to answer only about a tenth of taxpayers' phone calls this season, and even the lucky ones waited an average of nearly 25 minutes before getting through, the agency's auditor reported Thursday. Published April 16, 2015

The Medicare bill that patched a 1997 law that was about to foist a 21 percent pay cut on doctors was the product of negotiations between the unlikely duo of House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat. (Associated Press)

Republicans, Democrats find common ground on Iran, Medicare, education

A rash of bipartisanship has broken out in recent weeks on Capitol Hill, where Republicans and Democrats have teamed up to make progress on issues such as entitlement spending and education reforms, leaving lawmakers and Congress watchers alike wondering whether it's the dawn of a promising era. Published April 15, 2015