Here’s where things stand heading into day 34 of the Trump administration:
A new front has emerged in the battle over President Trump’s immigration policy given his plan to ramp up enforcement against undocumented immigrants.
Over the weekend, news broke that Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly signed new guidelines empowering federal authorities to more aggressively detain and deport illegal immigrants inside the United States. Immigrant rights advocates reacted with fear and outrage.
The administration sought to allay their concerns Tuesday during a conference call with reporters: A senior official with the Department of Homeland Security said the measures are not intended to produce “mass deportations” and will take time to implement.
But given Trump’s harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric from the campaign trail, immigrant rights groups and Democratic lawmakers are still on alert.
The new guidelines called for the “hiring of thousands of additional enforcement agents, expanding the pool of immigrants who are prioritized for removal, speeding up deportation hearings and enlisting local law enforcement to help make arrests,” our colleague wrote.
TRUMP DENOUNCES RACISM AND ANTI-SEMITIC VIOLENCE
Trump has faced pressure for weeks to clearly decry the sharp increase in anti-Semitic incidents around the country.
On Tuesday, he finally did so during a visit to Washington’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
“This tour was a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms,” Trump said, reading off prepared remarks.
“The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.”
As our colleagues wrote, the statement was “notably somber and disciplined” — a departure from the “flashes of irritation he showed at a news conference last week at the White House,” when he dismissed related questions from reporters.
Pressure had mounted after another wave of bomb threats hit Jewish community centers in multiple states on Monday and more than 170 Jewish gravestones were toppled at a cemetery near St. Louis over the weekend.
TRUMP PLANS TO ROLL BACK TRANSGENDER STUDENT PROTECTIONS
The “bathroom” debate looks like it’s about to start all over again.
Under a policy issued by the Obama administration, public school students were permitted to use bathrooms that match their gender identities rather than the sex listed on their birth certificates.
Now, it appears the Trump administration is preparing to change that. A spokesman for Trump said the Education and Justice departments will provide new guidance on the issue, which he called a matter for states to decide.
As our colleagues wrote, Trump’s decision “would not have an immediate impact on the nation’s public school students because a federal judge had already put a hold on the Obama-era directive issued in May.”
It would, however, affect several legal cases and indicate whether Trump will “hew closer to the GOP party line” on LGBT issues than he did on the campaign trail.
Follow the author @eliseviebeck.