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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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Articles by Stephen Dinan

Senate Republicans defend balanced budget; Democrats see fodder

Republicans defended their balanced budget and Democrats walked away with dozens of votes they think can be used against the GOP in upcoming elections as the Senate passed a blueprint Friday morning to govern spending and provide a path for repealing Obamacare. Published March 26, 2015

Whistleblowers said Alejandro Mayorkas gave special treatment to some Democrats who were advocating for EB-5 investor visas for companies they backed. (Associated Press)

DHS secretary says Mayorkas will keep his job amid immigration flap

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Thursday that he won't fire his deputy for showing favoritism to high-profile Democrats in key immigration cases, insisting that the problem lay not with Alejandro Mayorkas but rather with a broken visa program. Published March 26, 2015

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson acknowledged at Tuesday's hearing that 282 people have had to be kicked out of the amnesty program because of criminal convictions or gang ties that were later discovered. That was out of a population of more than 600,000 who were approved. (Associated Press)

DHS chief: Court should have known part of amnesty was in effect

A federal judge should have known Homeland Security was carrying out at least part of President Obama's new deportation amnesty beginning last year, department Secretary Jeh Johnson told Congress on Thursday as the administration continued to struggle with what's become a thorny legal issue. Published March 26, 2015

Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, said it was necessary to send a signal to the unaccompanied minors preparing for another run at the U.S.-Mexico border this year that they will be sent back rather than released into the U.S., as all of the children from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were last year. (Associated Press)

Senate demands faster deportations for illegal immigrant children

The Senate approved non-binding language as part of its budget late Thursday calling for the law to be changed to speed deportations of illegal immigrant children from Central America — but fell just short of the 60 votes that would be needed to force a bill into law later. Published March 26, 2015

Latinos say deportation a top concern

More than a third of Hispanics in the U.S. say they personally know someone who's been put through deportation proceedings here, underscoring the personal nature of the immigration debate for one of the fastest-growing voter demographics. Published March 25, 2015

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy confers with an aide as she prepares to address the Natural Resources Committee session during the National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington, Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen) ** FILE **

Congress subpoenas EPA chief's cellphone records

Sensing a cover-up, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology issued a subpoena Wednesday demanding the EPA chief turn over her cellphone records and emails so investigators can try to figure out if she hid or deleted text messages in what one critic called a "cyberbonfire." Published March 25, 2015

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie apologized for highway lane closures apparently ordered by his aides as political retribution. He fired an aide and campaign adviser. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Chris Christie attacks Obama over deportation amnesty

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has been difficult to pin down on immigration, finally took a firm stand this week against President Obama’s deportation amnesty, filing court papers arguing the president’s action was illegal. Published March 25, 2015

President Obama gets ready to toss a football in this photo posted on his Twitter feed moments before the Super Bowl kickoff between the Ravens and 49ers. It was taken in 2010. ** FILE **

Obama stiff-arms Constitution: Admin lawyers fight 'Redskins' trademark

The Washington Redskins' name is commercial speech and isn't the kind of free expression protected by the First Amendment, the Obama administration told a federal court this week in defending a ruling that has stripped the football team of trademark protections. Published March 24, 2015

Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, whom President Obama promoted even while he was under investigation, meddled in three immigration cases, creating "an appearance of favoritism and special access," the department's inspector general said in a 99-page report that stops just short of accusing Mr. Mayorkas of lying. (Associated Press)

Top DHS official Alejandro Mayorkas accused of meddling with immigration

A top Obama administration official caved to political pressure to approve immigration applications from well-connected wealthy foreigners, ignoring warnings from career officers who said the investor visas should be denied, an inspector general concluded in a report Tuesday. Published March 24, 2015

FILE - In this Feb. 2, 2015 file photo, President Barack Obama's budget plan is distributed by the Senate Budget Committee as it arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington. House Democrats Monday unveiled a $3.7 trillion budget plan for next year that mirrors President Barack Obama's call for $1.8 trillion in tax increases on wealthier people and corporations over the coming decade but would add almost $6 trillion to the national debt over that time.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Obama budget defeated 98-1 in Senate vote

President Obama's budget suffered its latest ignominious defeat when the Senate rejected it on a 98-1 vote Tuesday evening, capping off the first votes of the budget season. Published March 24, 2015

In this Feb. 12, 2015, file photo, JPS Health Network patient navigator Delaila Hernandez, center, helps Fred Cardenas with documents during a Affordable Care Act enrollment event at the Fort Worth Public Library in Fort Worth, Texas. With more than 1 million Texans enrolled for health insurance through the federal marketplace, Affordable Care Act assisters are turning their focus to educating Latinos and young childless adults ahead of the next enrollment period and getting out the message that hundreds of thousands of Texas children are eligible for Medicaid.  (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

Hispanics demand more Latinos on Sunday political talk shows

Hispanic groups are accusing the major broadcast networks of discrimination in the Sunday political talk shows, arguing in a letter Monday that the programs don't include enough Latino guests nor give enough attention to Hispanics' issues. Published March 23, 2015

In addition to announcing proactive legal status for 4 million illegal immigrants, President Obama in November also ordered immigration agents not to bother deporting most of the rest of the illegal immigrant population and to focus only on serious criminals. (Associated Press)

Obama dealt series of setbacks on immigration, takes fire from all sides

President Obama's immigration policies suffered a rough week, faltering in the courts, taking fire on Capitol Hill, angering his political base and even having his own deportation chief undercut his message as he struggles to find a middle-ground path to overhaul the nation's immigration system. Published March 22, 2015

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Sarah Saldana holds a Jan. 29, 2015, news conference in Phoenix on counterfeit ticket and merchandise at the upcoming Super Bowl XLIX. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Chastened deportation chief retracts call to override sanctuary cities

The administration's deportation chief backtracked Friday, just a day after she pleaded with Congress to pass laws cracking down on so-called "sanctuary" cities and states — a stance that appeared to put her at odds with her boss, President Obama. Published March 20, 2015

Hillary Clinton is the keynote speaker at the American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey’s Tri State CAMP Conference at the Atlantic City Convention Center, in Atlantic City, NJ, Thursday March 19, 2015. (AP Photo/The Press of Atlantic City, Ben Fogletto)

Benghazi committee officially requests Clinton surrender her email server

The committee investigating Benghazi formally requested Friday that Hillary Rodham Clinton turn her email server over to an independent third party so it can be scrutinized to determine whether she and the Obama administration complied with open-records laws. Published March 20, 2015

Transportation Security Inspector Cara Ropp and Nestle check out passengers at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, in Romulus, Mich. The TSA showed off Nestle who is being used to detect explosives and explosive components at the airport. The passenger screening canines, or PSCs, are being used to identify and locate potential explosive threats at security checkpoints. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

TSA allowed 'domestic terrorist' to get ‘PreCheck’ status: Audit

The Transportation Security Agency granted expedited passenger status to a traveler investigators described as part of a domestic terrorist group, and refused to rescind the designation even after a line officer recognized the person, an inspector general said late Thursday. Published March 20, 2015

In this undated photo from the U.S. Border Patrol, Crystal A. Diaz, a U.S. Border Patrol agent with the Tucson Sector in Arizona, rides her ATV while on patrol. The Border Patrol is on a hiring spree for a very specific type of agent: a female one. Only 5 percent of its approximately 21,000 agents around the country are women, and the agency has long called this a problem. It is especially troublesome in the Southwest, where nearly 120,000 women were caught crossing the border illegally in the fiscal year that ended Oct. 31. That's a significant increase from fiscal year 2011, when about 43,000 women were apprehended. (AP Photo/U.S. Border Patrol)

23 Dreamers from Obama amnesty snared in criminal dragnet

Nearly two dozen of the illegal immigrants picked up in a nationwide sweep for criminal aliens earlier this month had previously been approved for President Obama's deportation amnesty, the Homeland Security Department said Wednesday. Published March 19, 2015