The White House
When a policy has been vigorously followed by venerable institutions for more than a generation without getting any closer to producing the desired results, perhaps there is some problem with the goal. That thought was prompted by a New York Times story headlined "Even With Affirmative Action, Blacks and Hispanics Are More Underrepresented at Top Colleges Than 35 Years Ago." It presented enrollment data from 100 selective colleges and universities -- the eight Ivy League schools, nine University of California campuses, 20 "top" liberal arts colleges, 14 "other top universities" and 50 "flagship" state universities. (They total 100 because UC Berkeley appears in two categories.) This assumption is behind the "affirmative action" policies that college and university admissions offices have been following with something resembling religious devotion since well before 1980. Unchallengeable data make clear that schools regularly admit blacks and Hispanics with much lower test scores than those classified as whites and, particularly, Asians. But Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote in the Grutter decision, "25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary." This discrimination is harmful -- not least to university administrators, many of whom feel obliged to lie systematically about what they are doing. Its harm to those who are discriminated against is real but not overwhelming; most will find places in other selective schools. None of the 100 colleges and universities cited in the Times article has a black student percentage at or above that of the college-age population.
Trump Praised His New Chief of Staff After a Report That He's Already Sick of Him. President Donald Trump praised his new chief of staff John Kelly on Friday morning, seeming to push back on a new report that he's already bridling at Kelly's leadership. "General John Kelly is doing a great job as Chief of Staff," Trump said on Twitter. "I could not be happier or more impressed - and this Administration continues to get things done at a record clip. Many big decisions to be made over the coming days and weeks. AMERICA FIRST!" His comments came hours after the Washington Post reported that "some of Trump’s friends fear that the short-tempered president is on an inevitable collision course with" Kelly, because "Trump chafes at some of the retired Marine Corps general’s moves to restrict access to him since he took the job almost a month ago." Kelly took over the top post after Reince Priebus was ousted in July. He's so far used his new position to try to impose order on a chaotic White House.
Four U.S. Companies Have Been Contracted to Build Prototype Border Walls. Caddell Construction, Fisher Industries, Texas Sterling Construction, and W.G. Yates & Sons Construction, have each been charged with building a concrete wall that's 30-feet long and up to 30-feet high, NBC News reports. The DHS is also expected to commission four non-concrete wall prototypes. On completion, the government will evaluate the designs to determine which is the most suitable to implement on a massive scale along the U.S.-Mexico border. The four contacts are each worth between $400,000 and $500,000. Read more: This Graphic Shows Why President Trump’s Border Wall Won’t Stop Immigrants From Crossing "This is the first new initiative that adds to our bigger plans," Ronald Vitiello, acting deputy commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection told NBC News. “Testing will look at things like the aesthetics of it, how penetrable they are, how resistant they are to tampering and then scaling or anti-climbing,” he added. According to Vitiello, construction will begin in the coming weeks with the review process expected to take between one and two months. [NBC News]
Those Who Were Barred From U.S. During Trump's First Travel Ban Can Reapply for Visas. Under the terms of the settlement, the government agreed to notify an unspecified number of people overseas who were banned that they can reapply for visas with the help of a Department of Justice liaison for a three-month period. In return, the plaintiffs said they would drop all their claims. Gerlent said it's unclear how many people will benefit from the settlement because the government has refused to disclose the total. A DOJ statement read, "Although this case has been moot since March, when the president rescinded the original executive order and issued a new one that does not restrict the entry of Iraqi nationals, the U.S. government has elected to settle this case on favorable terms." The ACLU, along with the National Immigration Law Center and the International Refugee Assistance Project, sued on behalf of two Iraqui nationals after the Trump administration implemented a policy Jan. 27 that barred entry of visa-holders from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. One of the plaintiffs was Hameed Khalid Darweesh, a translator who has done work for the U.S. military, who was detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport. A federal judge blocked the ban eight days later in a ruling upheld by a circuit court. Rather than pursue an appeal, the administration said it would revise the policy. In June, the Supreme Court found that the narrower order could be enforced if those visitors lack a "credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States."