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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

Articles by Stephen Dinan

A man marches with a sign during a protest in front of a building that houses federal immigration offices Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013, in Atlanta.  Eight immigration activists, protesting deportations of people who are in the country illegally, were taken into custody by police after they locked arms and some of them chained themselves to the gates outside immigration offices..   (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Illegal immigrants arrested protesting at Capitol

Activists said that illegal immigrants were arrested while protesting outside of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's office on Wednesday in the latest escalation of civil disobedience designed to pressure Congress to legalize them. Published November 20, 2013

**FILE** Jeh Johnson, President Barack Obama's choice to become Homeland Security Secretary, testifies on Capitol Hill on Nov. 13, 2013, before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on his nomination. (Associated Press)

Committee approves Johnson to be DHS secretary

Jeh Johnson, President Obama's nominee to head the massive Homeland Security Department, won Senate committee approval on Wednesday, clearing a key hurdle as he seeks to take the reins of a complex bureaucracy still suffering growing pains 10 years after it was created. Published November 20, 2013

Monte Harms, of Albuquerque, N.M., advocates Albuquerque's late term abortion ban outside of a voting site at Eisenhower Middle School in Albuquerque, N.M., Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013. Albuquerque voters will decide whether to ban abortions after 20 weeks following an emotional and graphic campaign that has included protests and hundreds of thousands of dollars on television and radio ads that have brought out more than twice as many early voters as the recent mayoral elections. (AP Photo/Juan Antonio Labreche)

Abortion ban defeated in groundbreaking Albuquerque referendum

Voters in Albuquerque easily defeated a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, dealing a major blow Tuesday to pro-life advocates who had hoped that a win using the city's referendum process would be a model that other municipalities could follow. Published November 20, 2013

** FILE ** A sign stands outside the National Security Administration (NSA) campus on Thursday, June 6, 2013, in Fort Meade, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Spy court says NSA exceeded bounds, but judges approved all data requests anyway

The federal government used the Patriot Act more than 500 times from 2005 through 2011 to secretly obtain records from businesses, including bulk telephone and Internet data, and never once did the secret court charged with oversight turn them down, according to the latest document dump from U.S. spy agencies. Published November 19, 2013

Immigration activists hold signs and shout during a protest in front of a building that houses federal immigration offices Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013, in Atlanta.  Eight activists, protesting deportations of people who are in the country illegally, were taken into custody by police after they locked arms and some of them chained themselves to the gates outside immigration offices.  (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Illegal immigrants blockade Atlanta office to halt deportations

Illegal immigrants blockaded a federal office that handles deportations in Atlanta on Tuesday morning, and later in the day others in Chicago chained themselves to the wheels of a bus they said was headed to the airport on a deportation run. Published November 19, 2013

Larry Klayman. (Associated Press)

NSA snooping programs taken to federal court

A public interest lawyer who says the government is "messing" with his text messages pleaded with a federal judge Monday to halt the government's electronic snooping programs, in a case that tests whether Americans will be able to challenge the NSA's phone-records collection in regular courts. Published November 18, 2013

Judge Robert Wilkins, who sits on the U.S. District Court for D.C., didn't have the votes of 60 senators Monday to overcome a filibuster for his nomination to the higher U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. (Associated Press)

Senate's rule-changing 'nuclear option' may be getting close on judges

Senate Republicans on Monday filibustered President Obama's third and final nominee to sit on the powerful federal appeals court in Washington, leaving the chamber gridlocked and raising the possibility that Democrats will employ the "nuclear option" to change the chamber's rules. Published November 18, 2013

FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2013 file photo, pro-abortion rights activists, rally face-to-face against anti-abortion demonstrators as both march in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington in a demonstration that coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion. The Supreme Court declines for now to jump back into the abortion wars, but a variety of new abortion restrictions in several states could eventually win high court review. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

Abortion battle goes local in New Mexico as Albuquerque votes on 20-week ban

Three years after Dr. George Tiller, one of the few doctors who openly advertised that he performed late-term abortions, was killed by a protester in Wichita, Kan., two of his fellow doctors now practice at Southwestern Women's Options, a late-term abortion clinic in Albuquerque. Published November 17, 2013

Transportation Security Administration officials check check passengers entering a security checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta on Nov. 18, 2010. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Bill makes TSA give up loose change

Passengers who leave their change at airport security checkpoints may not know they're doing it, but they're actually giving the TSA all of that money — and it amounts to about half a million dollars a year. Published November 17, 2013

Upset with President Barack Obama's immigration policy, about 250 people march to the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement office with a goal of stopping future deportations on Monday Oct. 14, 2013, in Phoenix.  The protesters chanted "no more deportations" and "shut down ICE." (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Obama to stop deporting illegal relatives of U.S. troops, veterans

The Obama administration carved out yet another category of illegal immigrants it says it will no longer deport — in this case saying that relatives of U.S. troops and veterans who previously served can apply to stay in the country. Published November 15, 2013

If the TSA's behavior-profiling program at airports is defunded, Administrator John S. Pistole said, "There would be fewer passengers going through expedited screening, there would be increased pat-downs, there would be longer lines and there would be more frustration by the traveling public." (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

TSA profiling at airports has yet to nab a terrorist

The TSA's behavior-profiling program at airports has been in effect for seven years, but has yet to identify any potential terrorists who pose a threat to aviation, the agency's administrator acknowledged Thursday. Published November 14, 2013

Pelosi

Democrats still hoping for an immigration bill this year

Democrats say they haven't given up hope of acting on an immigration bill this year, despite House Speaker John A. Boehner's comments earlier in the week essentially putting the issue out of reach. Published November 14, 2013

"I have serious questions regarding fraud in the immigration process," said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican. (Associated Press)

Visitors who overstay visas a growing security concern

The federal government is approving ever-more business and tourism visitors to enter the U.S., raising questions about whether agencies are equipped to approve them, monitor them and make sure they leave when they are supposed to. Published November 13, 2013

**FILE** Airline passenger Don Heim (right) of Alpharetta, Ga., is briefed by Transportation Security Administration trainer Byron Gibson before going through a new expedited security line on Oct. 4, 2011, at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta. (Associated Press)

TSA wasting money by profiling passengers' behavior, investigators say

Government investigators said Wednesday that there is little evidence to show TSA employees are able to pick out potential terrorists by profiling behavior and that the agency may be wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on the 3,000 officers hired to do so. Published November 13, 2013

**FILE** Jeh Johnson, President Barack Obama's choice to become Homeland Security Secretary, testifies on Capitol Hill on Nov. 13, 2013, before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on his nomination. (Associated Press)

DHS nominee faces backlash over transparency

Senators said Wednesday they are impressed with Jeh C. Johnson, whom President Obama has nominated to head the Homeland Security Department, but said his nomination will suffer delays and opposition unless he is more forthcoming in answering key questions. Published November 13, 2013

**FILE** House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a new conference following a meeting at the Republican National Committee offices on Capitol Hill in Washington on Oct. 23, 2013. (Associated Press)

Boehner puts brakes on immigration reform

House Speaker John A. Boehner on Wednesday flatly ruled out even entering into negotiations with the Senate on that chamber's immigration bill, signaling that the issue is dead for this year — and setting up major hurdles for any action before the midterm elections. Published November 13, 2013

"It has reached the point where judges are being voted on for political reasons, not qualifications. You do that, you're going to destroy the integrity of the federal courts," says Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat and chairman of the Judiciary Committee (associated press)

GOP filibusters another Obama nominee for federal court

Republican senators on Tuesday filibustered another of President Obama's nominees to the federal appeals court in Washington, escalating the battle over judges and leaving Democrats enraged and vowing to push again to change the chamber's rules. Published November 12, 2013