The TAKE with Rick Klein
If this is what a new chapter reads like, it might be tempting to peek ahead to the end.
President Joe Biden will address the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday morning, hoping to use bold rhetoric and action to welcome “a chapter of intensive diplomacy” after two decades of U.S.-led war, as previewed for reporters by a senior White House adviser.
But much like images of pleading and suffering marred the U.S. exit from Afghanistan, now images of desperate refugees from Haiti — and one powerful photo in particular featuring a Border Patrol agent on horseback — are threatening to subsume Biden’s messaging.
The U.S. that Biden wants to showcase is leading the way on COVID — deploying vaccine diplomacy and soon to ease travel restrictions from abroad — and marshaling allies to confront climate change , new terrorist threats and compassionate treatment of those displaced by sociopolitical forces.
The U.S. the world is seeing at the moment is riven by divisions on COVID, paralyzed on legislative solutions on infrastructure , climate and immigration, locked in a diplomatic row with a critical ally and coping with the fallout of a horrific and deadly mistake in an “over-the-horizon” reprisal in Afghanistan.
“America is back," Biden told the U.N. secretary general Monday night, repeating a phrase he used at a virtual security conference just a month after taking office.
Now, some seven months after that speech, events are continuing to crash Biden’s plans and challenge his commitments. The world community can be excused if it’s not sure what American leadership means at the moment.
The RUNDOWN with Averi Harper
Fifty-five Democrats sent a letter to the Biden administration Thursday urging deportations be halted indefinitely and that Haitians currently detained be released. That hasn’t happened and now flights carrying migrants back to their countries of origin could be the fastest large-scale expulsion of migrants or refugees in decades.
That speed has raised concerns that Black Haitian migrants aren’t being treated like migrants from Latin American countries. Swift expulsions in tandem with images of a law enforcement officer on horseback, snapping his horse’s reins in the direction of a migrant and prompting references to antebellum slave catchers, has only intensified concerns about fairness. Mayorkas called those claims of unfairness “factually inaccurate.”
Still Mayorkas is doubling down on plans to send migrants back to earthquake-ravaged Haiti. The administration has not made victims of the August earthquake eligible for Temporary Protected Status, the humanitarian program that gives legal status to foreign nationals from designated countries impacted by natural disaster or armed conflict. Only Haitians in the U.S. before July 29 are eligible for the program.
“That is not changing,” said Mayorkas, claiming that conditions in the island nation were safe enough to take migrants back. It’s a point many would dispute.
In the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, the U.S. halted deportations and offered Haitians temporary protected status, this time around Haitians are being given a ticket back to a homeland in crisis.
The TIP with Alisa Wiersema
The Supreme Court’s announcement Monday that it will take up a case addressing a Mississippi abortion law in December all but ensures that the topic will remain a priority on the midterm campaign trail in the months ahead.
The Mississippi case seeks to have the court overturn Roe v. Wade, and the decision to hear the case comes against a backdrop of escalating worries from Democrats that the conservative majority will successfully nullify the existing landmark decision. Those concerns were recently reignited given the court’s inaction in blocking Texas’s newly implemented anti-abortion law — a move that is seen as unpopular by most Americans.
According to a Monmouth University poll released Monday, 54% of Americans disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the Texas law banning abortions after six weeks to go into effect and 62% say the Supreme Court should leave Roe v. Wade in place. Additionally, the public’s view of the court declined over the last five years — the nation’s highest court now has a 42% approval rate, down from 49% in 2016.
The difference is especially apparent down party lines , with Republican approval climbing to 52% from 36%, and support from Democrats declining to 33% from 65% in the same time frame. Regardless of how the Supreme Court ultimately rules, the divide forecasts a heated campaign season focused on one of the nation’s longest-lasting and most heated policy debates.
ABC News’ “Start Here” Podcast. Tuesday morning’s episode features a preview of President Joe Biden’s U.N. address with ABC News White House Correspondent Karen Travers breaking down the foreign policy debates he’s having with allies on several fronts. Then, ABC News contributor Dr. John Brownstein explains what parents need to know about Pfizer’s vaccine study for children under 12. And, 10 years after the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” there’s still a reckoning in the military, says ABC News Senior Washington Reporter Devin Dwyer. http://apple.co/2HPocUL
FiveThirtyEight’s Politics Podcast. Last Thursday, Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez announced he is retiring from Congress at the end of his term. He is one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach President Donald Trump after his supporters attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6. In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the crew discusses how the other nine Republicans are faring in their bids to win reelection. They also debate whether CNN’s new polling methodology is a good or bad use of polling and give some final takeaways from California’s recall election. https://53eig.ht/395ymf6
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