Booker introduces immigration plan aimed to 'virtually eliminate' immigration detention
Washington (CNN) Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker on Tuesday introduced a new immigration plan that would see the New Jersey senator take executive action on a range of immigration concerns on his first day in office if his presidential bid were successful.
"When kids are being stripped away from their parents and held in cages, I will not wait for Congress to solve this crisis," Booker said in a news release outlining the plan Tuesday. "On day one of my presidency, I will take immediate steps to end this administration's moral vandalism."
"Without waiting for Congress to act, Cory will stop the treatment of immigrants as criminals, close inhumane (Department of Homeland Security) facilities, end the use of for-profit detention facilities and end unnecessary barriers for refugees and those seeking asylum to virtually eliminate immigrant detention," the news release said.
Booker's plan would "virtually eliminate immigration detention," by shutting down "inhumane" border facilities and introducing civil detention standards that "call for detention as a last resort." Booker would also direct the Department of Homeland Security to phase out its contracts with private prison facilities over a three-year period.
The plan, which promises to broadly undo the Trump administration's "anti-immigrant policies," also calls for expanding access to legal counsel for immigrants, restoring and expanding protections for "as many Dreamers as possible" and the allocation of foreign aid to address the root cause of migration.
Sen. Booker Calls For Federal Gun Licensing Program
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker praised Massachusetts gun licensing laws on Friday, even as he lamented a recent string of shootings in Boston, and the lax gun laws in other states that help contribute to gun violence here in the commonwealth.
One of more than 20 Democratic candidates running for president, Booker was scheduled to speak in Boston on Friday, but had to cancel due to flight delays in New York and New Jersey. Booker, who instead spoke to reporters on a conference call, said he wants to implement a nationwide federal gun licensing program.
The program would require any American seeking to purchase a gun of any kind, to apply for a license — much as someone would apply for a visa or passport.
Booker pointed out that nearly 70 percent of guns recovered by police in Massachusetts come from out of state.
“This is why we need a national strategy; a federal group of laws,” Booker said. “If we had a comprehensive, 50-state gun safety agenda, this would end.”
Booker brings in $4.5 million in second quarter
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) raised $4.5 million in the second quarter, according to his presidential campaign.
Booker's campaign reported that 88 percent of donors in the second quarter were first-time donors to the campaign and that the campaign will report having $5.4 million cash on hand.
The haul trails Bookers' first-quarter fundraising, which came in at $5 million.
The announcement comes as Booker's fellow presidential candidates follow their second-quarter filings with the Federal Election Commission.
South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg leads the quarter two fundraising pack, raising $24.8 million in the past three months. Former Vice President Joe Biden raked in $21.5 million in that same period.
Booker leads former Rep. Beto O'Rouke (D-Texas), who announced a haul of around $3.6 million in the second quarter.
Booker’s Iowa senior adviser leaves, citing personal reasons
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Cory Booker’s Iowa senior adviser is departing his 2020 presidential campaign, leaving the New Jersey senator without one of his top staffers in a key early voting state.
Iowa senior adviser Joe O’Hern confirmed to The Associated Press on Monday that he had stepped down from the campaign last week for personal reasons. O’Hern was Martin O’Malley’s caucus director in 2016, managed a Democratic gubernatorial primary campaign in 2018 and is widely known among Iowa’s political class as a seasoned organizer with a deep understanding of the caucus process.
Booker’s campaign declined to comment on the departure.
While O’Hern was a key staffer on Booker’s Iowa team, Booker’s campaign has long been seen as one of the strongest on the ground in Iowa, a state that remains a top priority for his presidential campaign.
This isn't good.
Good Morning America
Good Morning America
For Cory Booker, water crisis awakens ghosts of past Newark water scandal
As a presidential candidate, Cory Booker has made environmental protections a central tenet of his social justice platform. As a United States senator, he emerged as a leading voice on the front lines of safe water for urban-dwellers.
But a growing water quality crisis gripping Newark, New Jersey, is bringing fresh attention and scrutiny of Booker's own record when he was that city's mayor -- at a time when the water system was marred by scandal.
The two crises may be separated by time, but as images spread of Newark officials handing out bottled water to residents grappling with dangerous water pollution, ongoing water problems could prove increasingly uncomfortable for his 2020 presidential campaign. ...
The latest figures from federal observers show that children in Newark's Essex County are in fact nearly four times more likely to have elevated blood lead levels than those in Flint, where cost-cutting measures resulted in lead and other toxins seeping into the drinking water supply. As a result, city officials handed out filters more than eight months ago. Following recent tests that showed elevated levels of lead in the drinking water of two houses using the filters, the EPA recommended Friday that local officials in Newark distribute bottled water to residents.
In a speech in New York City on Monday, Booker initially sought to address the water crisis in Newark but he did so obliquely, lamenting it as an example of "environmental injustice" without mentioning the city's name. ...
Until 2013, the job of keeping water safe belonged to a quasi-public agency called the Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corporation. It fell under the purview of the mayor, who appointed board members and who sat as chair.
In 2014, the New Jersey state comptroller published an investigation into the agency's stewardship of the city's infrastructure that was highly critical of Booker's administration. The investigative report "found that from 2008 through 2011, the [watershed] recklessly and improperly spent millions of dollars of public funds with little to no oversight by either its Board of Trustees or the City" – both of which, at the time, were led by Booker.