Feb 28, 2017

What Trump means when he offers an immigration deal

Andrew Harnik / AP

Don't get too excited about the idea that President Trump is having a last-minute conversion to Jeb Bush-style immigration reform. We've been talking with conservatives in his orbit, and here's what you need to understand about how Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions view the issue:

  1. The people who are in this country illegally who haven't committed crimes have always been viewed as points of leverage in a negotiation over immigration, whether that's border security or any other deal that can be struck with Congress. As we've seen in the opening weeks of his administration, Trump is also willing to use existing law to get started on deportations without Congress.
  2. But that bargaining chip is down the road, and Trumpworld is wary about the example of Ronald Reagan, who is remembered by populist conservatives for allowing an amnesty before locking down better immigration enforcement.
  3. When Trump talks about comprehensive immigration reform, it's not on the terms of the Gang of 8. His orbit believes any deal will include extreme vetting and border security.
  4. Remember Trump's trip to Mexico, where Trump said nice things to President Nieto and then went to Arizona and delivered one of the most red meat speeches of his campaign.

Remember: People will hear what they want to hear from Trump tonight, particularly on immigration. Some can take away that he's converting to Marco Rubio or Lindsey Graham-style conservatism, but his people still believe any immigration deal will be on the terms he set on the campaign.

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Coronavirus hospitalizations keep falling

Data: COVID Tracking Project, Harvard Global Health Institute; Note: Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Tennessee and Puerto Rico have not reported hospitalizations consistently. Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 continues to decline, particularly in New York and other northeastern states that were among the hardest hit by the virus.

Yes, but: Some states are still recording stagnant or rising amounts of hospitalizations.

Updates: George Floyd protests continue past curfews

Protesters on Tuesday evening by the metal fence recently erected outside the White House. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Largely peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Tuesday night across the U.S. for the eighth consecutive day.

The latest: Protesters were out en masse after curfews were in force in areas including Washington, D.C., New York City, Los Angeles and Portland — one of the cities where there was a late-night flash-point between police and protesters.

Primary elections test impact of protests, coronavirus on voting

Election official at a polling place at McKinley Technology High School in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In the midst of a global pandemic and national protests over the death of George Floyd, eight states and the District of Columbia held primary elections on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, needs to win 425 of the 479 delegates up for grabs in order to officially clinch the nomination. There are a number of key down-ballot races throughout the country as well, including a primary in Iowa that could determine the fate of Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).