Council Members Call For More Openness in San Jose's Permit Process

Two San Jose council members say their city makes it too tough on small business owners who want to open shop or expand.

CPUC to File Revised PG&E Penalty

The California Public Utilities Commission is set to file a revised penalty proposal Monday for PG&E’s part in the fatal San Bruno gas line explosion.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee Responds to 'Sanctuary City' Critics

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee joins us to discuss a number of pressing issues facing the city: a housing shortage, growing inequity and allegations of police corruption. We'll also talk with him about the current controversy over San Francisco's "sanctuary city" policies, which are receiving national attention after the killing of a woman at Pier 14, allegedly by an undocumented immigrant.

Will the U.S. Supreme Court Reverse California Redistricting?

In 2010, California voters approved a new way of redrawing congressional districts as a way to combat partisan gerrymandering. The state took the power away from the Legislature and put it in the hands of a nonpartisan citizen commission. But California's system could be threatened by a case now pending at the U.S. Supreme Court. On Monday, the court heard arguments in a challenge to Arizona's Independent Redistricting Commission, where Arizona legislative leaders argued that the U.S. Constitution gives state legislatures exclusive control of congressional elections.

PBS NewsHour

Why divisive Donald Trump still appeals to voters

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, seen here at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition
         ForumSaturday, hosted a Twitter chat on Monday. Brian C. Frank/Reuters

Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

JUDY WOODRUFF: But, first, Donald Trump said today he is not getting out of the Republican race for president, despite having said this weekend he would bow out if his numbers dropped.

While some expected him to fade, Trump continues to roll — poll, that is, in the high double digits, followed by Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, two others who have never held elected office.

Political director Lisa Desjardins looks at what is driving all this.

DONALD TRUMP, Republican Presidential Candidate: Right now, and you know it…

LISA DESJARDINS: Donald Trump is both famous and famously direct.

DONALD TRUMP: We have illegal immigrants that are treated better by far than our veterans.

LISA DESJARDINS: But he has been propelled by what may be the least known, least understood group of voters in the 2016 race. Their overall feelings are clear: anger, fear and distrust.

Steve Carby is a small business man. You see him here defending Donald Trump to protesters. He’s worried about veterans, and he likes Trump’s directness.

STEVE CARBY, Trump Event Attendee: One of the main reasons that I find him attractive as far as someone who would represent me is because he says what he wants to say, and the other thing is, is that I don’t think he can be bought.

LISA DESJARDINS: Stay-at-home mom of two Amanda Mancini, she is worried about her kids’ future.

AMANDA MANCINI, Trump Event Attendee: I’m very concerned about his education. He’s in public school, but only because, you know, we can only afford for one child to go to private school. But I see the stuff that he brings home with the Common Core. It makes no sense.

LISA DESJARDINS: These are conservative issues, but, most importantly, these voters are against the establishment, including the Republican establishment.

Salon and spa owner Elaine Yoachum is angry at the GOP leadership.

ELAINE YOACHUM, Trump Event Attendee: I have voted for Republicans for the last 20 years, and I’m feeling like I have kind of wasted my time and my vote. When I heard Trump speak, I thought, this is somebody that can be a leader and change the Republican Party.

LISA DESJARDINS: This is key to Trump’s strength. In a national FOX News poll out last week, 26 percent of likely Republican voters backed him, eight points ahead of anyone else.

But look at what else Republican voters felt in that poll. Sixty percent of them said their party has betrayed them.

DONALD TRUMP: They will never make America great again.

LISA DESJARDINS: Enter Trump’s outsider appeal.

DONALD TRUMP: They’re controlled fully by the lobbyists, by the donors.

LISA DESJARDINS: It’s an appeal not everyone buys.

DAVID MCINTOSH, President, Club for Growth: He’s not really the outsider we think he is. He’s more like the typical politician, where he is telling us what we want to hear, but reality is he would be very different if he were ever in office.

LISA DESJARDINS: David McIntosh heads the conservative advocacy group Club for Growth, which focuses on fiscal policies, low taxes, small government. The Club has attacked current Republican leaders like House Speaker John Boehner, and they see Trump as worse. They’re running this $1 million ad campaign against him.

NARRATOR: Trump wants us to think he’s Mr. Tell It Like It Is, but he has a record, and it’s very liberal.

DAVID MCINTOSH: He’s been for frequent tax increases. He’s not for free trade. He supported the single-payer health care system, government-run health care. Those are not conservative, free market policies.

LISA DESJARDINS: Trump denies that he’s liberal.

DONALD TRUMP: I will be totally pledging my allegiance to the Republican Party and the conservative principles for which it stand.

LISA DESJARDINS: Despite his critics, for the past month, Trump has mostly held an eight- to 10-point lead nationally. Can anything put a dent in that?

Well, polls do show some potential red flags on personality and ability. In a USA Today survey, the top five words American voters used to describe Donald Trump were all negative, including idiot, arrogant and selfish. The top word for Republican voters was arrogant.

But countering that, Trump may also be riding an historic wave.

BEVERLY GAGE, Professor, Yale University: One of the really remarkable things that you’re seeing in the United States right now are genuinely high levels of immigration, at a level we really haven’t seen since the turn of the 20th century.

LISA DESJARDINS: Beverly Gage, Yale University history professor, says times like these, with nearly 15 percent of the population being foreign-born, spark movements.

BEVERLY GAGE: You also usually see accompanying these kind of heightened periods of immigration is a kind of backlash politics that argues that immigrants shouldn’t be here in the United States, that they’re taking Americans’ jobs. And depending on, you know, who you’re talking about and at what moment, that takes different shapes.

LISA DESJARDINS: Trump voters, including Mexican immigrant Zander Saenz, say this is why they are sticking with Trump.

ZANDER SAENZ, Trump Event Attendee: I believe that Mexico has taken advantage of the United States through immigration. The elites in Mexico, I agree with Donald Trump, that they don’t want the poor in Mexico. They want to bring them over to America.

DONALD TRUMP: We’re going to make our country so great.

LISA DESJARDINS: It’s a push for new direction, new leadership, a push also helping Carly Fiorina, who is quickly rising in the polls, and Ben Carson, who is getting within reach of Trump nationally, the three GOP front-runners, who are also the only three candidates who have never held office before.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And Lisa Desjardins joins me now.

So, Lisa, it is a phenomenon out there with Donald Trump. But where is the race right now with Trump, with Carson, with Fiorina, all three outsiders, as you point out?

LISA DESJARDINS: That’s right.

And you can pick any one poll you like, but if you look at the trend, Judy, over the last month, what has happened is, Trump has basically plateaued. He’s stayed steady. He’s dipped a little bit in Iowa, but, overall, he has stayed about the same.

Carson and Fiorina are on the rise as a whole, and Fiorina especially, Judy. We have really seen her go from the back of the pack, not just to up close to the front, but third and in some polls even second in the race.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Can you tell if this is because of something Donald Trump is doing or is it something because of Carson and Fiorina?

LISA DESJARDINS: Well, we know that Trump’s unfavorability rating is relatively high to theirs, that Carson and Fiorina have higher favorability. They’re more well-liked than Trump.

Now, those who support Trump love him, but there is a large group that doesn’t. And a problem for Trump going down the road, Judy, is that 47 percent of GOP voters say they are willing to consider him. That means more than half who say they’re not even willing to consider Donald Trump. That’s a problem for the future. It’s not a problem that Carson or Fiorina have.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Do we have any way of quantifying how many voters are paying attention at this point, Republican or Democrat?

LISA DESJARDINS: To be honest, no, because these polls ask people, are you a likely Republican voter, are you a likely caucus-goer? We’re not asking them — or no one is asking them, how much are you paying attention? How much do you know about these candidates?

So, to some degree, this might be name recognition, and it might be buzz.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, it is — as we said, it’s a phenomenon.

LISA DESJARDINS: That’s right.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And we keep on watching it.

Lisa Desjardins, we thank you.


The post Why divisive Donald Trump still appeals to voters appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

D.C. introduces 16-week paid family leave plan

Working parents in D.C. could look forward to new paid family leave laws. Photo by Getty Images

Workers in D.C. may be able to utilize new paid family and medical leave laws. Photo by Getty Images

Councilmembers in the District of Columbia introduced the Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015 on Tuesday, which could make the nation’s capital the first city to offer paid family and medical leave for nearly all its residents.

According to The Washington Post, if legislation passes, almost every part-time and full-time employee in D.C. will be offered 16 weeks of paid family leave. This means employees will receive a paycheck in the event of recovering from illness, spending time with an infant or adopted child, tending to sick family members or recuperating from military deployment.

The funding pool will come from a new tax placed on private D.C. employers based on a salary-dependent sliding scale. These private employers would pay between 0.6 and 1 percent of their employees’ salaries, according to Slate. Workers who earn up to $52,000 a year, will receive 100 percent of pay during their leave. Those who make more than that can earn up to $1,000 a week plus 50 percent of their salary, with a maximum of $3,000 per week.

The legislation, which was introduced by D.C. councilmembers David Grosso and Elissa Silverman, would be eligible for almost all D.C. residents and employees. The federal government will not participate, but D.C. federal employees and contractors could opt into the system with a small participation fee.

The U.S. is one of the few countries in the world without national paid leave. It is also one of three countries with no paid maternity leave laws (the other two being Papua New Guinea and Oman). Currently, only three states (California, New Jersey and Rhode Island) have implemented paid family and medical leave. However, the maximum benefit is six weeks partial paid leave in New Jersey and California, while Rhode Island only offers four weeks of partial pay. If passed, the new D.C. legislation would be almost double that.

The post D.C. introduces 16-week paid family leave plan appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

Quiz: How the U.S. House of Representatives works

The framers of the Constitution built Congress to be the chamber of government closest to the people. At this moment, the House of Representatives is also the most unpredictable wing of government as majority Republicans hold a rare mid-session vote for a new Speaker. That, as several Category 5 fiscal problems barrel toward Capitol Hill and the House chamber in particular. We thought this relative calm before the storm would be a good time to test our knowledge on and include some history about the People’s House.

The post Quiz: How the U.S. House of Representatives works appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

U.S. deports fewest immigrants in nearly a decade

A small group from the Mexican Army can be seen through the fence that stands on the U.S./Mexico border in 2013 in Naco,
         Arizona. The Obama administration deported fewer immigrants over the past 12 months than at any time since 2006, the Associated
         Press reports. Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post

A small group from the Mexican Army can be seen through the fence that stands on the U.S./Mexico border in 2013 in Naco, Arizona. The Obama administration deported fewer immigrants over the past 12 months than at any time since 2006, the Associated Press reports. Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration deported fewer immigrants over the past 12 months than at any time since 2006, according to government figures obtained by The Associated Press.

Deportations of criminal immigrants have fallen to the lowest levels since President Barack Obama took office in 2009, despite his pledge to focus on finding and deporting criminals living in the country illegally. The share of criminal immigrants deported in relation to overall immigrants deported rose slightly, from 56 percent to 59 percent.

The overall total of 231,000 deportations generally does not include Mexicans who were caught at the border and quickly returned home by the U.S. Border Patrol. The figure does include roughly 136,700 convicted criminals deported in the last 12 months. Total deportations dropped 42 percent since 2012.

The Homeland Security Department has not yet publicly disclosed the new internal figures, which include month-by-month breakdowns and cover the period between Oct. 1, 2014, and Sept. 28. The new numbers emerged as illegal immigration continues to be sharply debated among Republican presidential candidates, especially front-runner Donald Trump. And they come as Obama carries out his pledge from before his 2012 re-election to narrowly focus enforcement and slow deportations after more than a decade of rising figures.

The biggest surprise in the figures was the decline in criminal deportations. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson last year directed immigration authorities anew to focus on finding and deporting immigrants who pose a national security or public safety threat, those who have serious criminal records or those who recently crossed the Mexican border. The decline suggests the administration has been failing to find criminal immigrants in the U.S. interior, or that fewer immigrants living in the U.S. illegally had criminal records serious enough to justify deporting them.

“With the resources we have … I’m interested in focusing on criminals and recent illegal arrivals at the border,” Johnson told Congress in April.

Roughly 11 million immigrants are thought to be living in the country illegally.

Obama has overseen the removal of more than 2.4 million immigrants since taking office, but deportations have been declining steadily in the last three years. Removals declined by more than 84,000 between the 2014 and 2015 budget years, the largest year-over-year decline since 2012.

The Homeland Security Department has been quick to attribute the steady decline to changing demographics at the Mexican border, specifically the increasing number of immigrants from countries other than Mexico and the spike in unaccompanied children and families caught trying to cross the border illegally in 2014. The majority of the children and tens of thousands of people traveling as families, mostly mothers and children, came from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

The Border Patrol historically sends home Mexican immigrants caught crossing the border illegally, but U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement must fly home immigrants from other countries. That process is more expensive, complicated and time-consuming, especially when immigrants fight their deportation or seek asylum in the United States.

Arrests of border crossers from other countries also dropped this year, along with the number of unaccompanied children and families. As of the end of August, the Border Patrol arrested about 130,000 immigrants from countries other than Mexico, about 34,500 unaccompanied children and roughly 34,400 people traveling as families.

More than 257,000 immigrants from countries other than Mexico were apprehended at the border during the 2014 budget year, including more than 68,000 unaccompanied children and tens of thousands of family members. It was the first time that immigrants from other countries outnumbered those from Mexico.

The post U.S. deports fewest immigrants in nearly a decade appeared first on PBS NewsHour.