Spring, Summer or Fall? Leaving Afghanistan

President Obama met with Afghan President Karzai at the White House on Friday, January 11, 2013, their first in-person meeting since they were both here in Chicago for the NATO Summit last May.  At their news conference in DC, Obama announced that US troops may be leaving the country earlier this spring rather than waiting until the summer as originally planned.  At that point, Afghan forces would take the lead in combat missions, and whatever number of NATO troops remain would play an advisory and supporting role in the country. While Obama said the decisions about troop cuts and the US military role after 2014 were not yet final, the announcement suggests his preference toward a more expedient withdrawal. Continue reading

Home Deport

Last week several papers reported that President Obama will seek a comprehensive, not incremental, immigration reform package in his second term and he doesn’t want to carry the legacy of Deporter in Chief.   Here in the Midwest, people are evenly divided on whether a comprehensive or piecemeal approach is best, and they think that carrying out more deportations would be less effective than creating a pathway to citizenship and imposing fines on businesses that hire unauthorized workers.  We know, because the Chicago Council released results from a Midwestern survey on immigration late last year as part of a task force on immigration.  Continue reading