DAVIS-OLIVER ACT CLEARS JUDICIARY: A bill that would intensify the Trump administration's crackdown on undocumented immigrants cleared the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday by a vote of 19-13. The Davis-Oliver Act, sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), would compel so-called "sanctuary cities" to comply with federal immigration laws and would increase by 12,500 the number of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. In addition, the bill would also allow ICE officers to carry M-4 rifles or the equivalent, and would criminalize unlawful presence in the U.S. (it's a civil violation at present). Read the bill here and a pair of amendments here and here.
HEAVY BEDDING: The White House budget proposal released this week requests funding for more than 51,000 detention beds, a 31 percent increase over the roughly 39,000 beds funded in the latest spending bill. With the president's promises of tougher enforcement, the additional beds would seem to make sense. But the number of arrests on the U.S.-Mexico border have plummeted under the new administration, which raises some question about whether the higher bed count - priced at a total cost of $2.7 billion in direct and indirect costs - will be needed.
DHS Sec. John Kelly spoke to that at a hearing Wednesday before the House Appropriations Committee Homeland Security Subcommittee. Kelly said the department's increased interior enforcement - which would "ideally go after criminals who are also illegal" - would maintain the need for 51,000 beds. "Ideally, in my mind over time, we will not need nearly as many beds," he told the committee. Kelly also said DHS plans to lower detention standards to be able to contract with local and state jails. More on that here.
From Politico's Morning edition.
Remember some of our allies who said- there was no difference between Clinton and Trump on immigration.