Legislative Activity

House Homeland Security Chair Concerned with Flow of Foreign Fighters

On Friday, May 29, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul (R-TX) participated in a meeting with top officials from around the world, including U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, at the United Nations to discuss the threat from foreign fighters. Following the meeting, Chairman McCaul issued a statement commending Secretary Johnson for his efforts to counter this threat, but voicing concern that U.S. allies, especially in Europe, are not sufficiently addressing their own security gaps, pointing to the “jihadi superhighway” running through Turkey and Europe. He called on the U.S. to better work with its allies abroad to close those loopholes that allow foreign fighters to cross borders undetected.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, June 2: The House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security will hold a hearing titled “The Outer Ring of Border Security: DHS’s International Security Programs.”
  • Wednesday, June 3: The House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing titled “Terrorism Gone Viral: The Attack in Garland, Texas and Beyond.”
  • Wednesday, June 3: The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing titled “Watchdogs Needed: Top Government Investigator Positions Left Unfilled for Years.”

Executive Branch Activity

President’s Executive Actions Further Delayed Following Appeals Court Decision

On Tuesday, May 26, a Federal appeals court denied the Administration’s request for an emergency stay to lift an injunction blocking implementation of the President’s executive actions on immigration. Texas federal Judge Andrew Hanen originally blocked the President’s proposed actions in February while a case brought by 26 states is considered by the courts. The injunction halts the creation of a new deferred deportation program for parents of U.S. citizens and legal residents announced by the President last November. It also calls on the Department of Homeland Security to stop expansion of the Obama Administration’s 2012 program deferring deportation for certain immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program

Two of three judges on a United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit panel declined to grant the emergency stay, finding that the states had sufficient legal grounds to bring the suits and the Administration had not shown that harm would result if the injunction remained in place. The panel also declined to limit the injunction to those 26 states who brought the original lawsuit.

On Wednesday, the Obama Administration confirmed that it would not seek Supreme Court review of the panel’s decision, meaning that the injunction could remain in place for years as the original case works it way through the courts. A different panel of the Fifth Circuit will consider the legal rationale underlying Judge Hanen’s injunction beginning in July.