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Chad’s Morning Brief: John Kerry Warns Russia One Last Time, Obama Wants to Change Deportations, and Other Top Stories

Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of March 14, 2014. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.

Kena Betancur, Getty Images

Kerry’s Last Warning

Secretary of State John Kerry has given Russia one more chance at reversing course in Crimea and Ukraine. According to the Washington Examiner, if Russia doesn’t listen they could face sanctions.

In a last-minute bid to stave off a new chapter in the East-West crisis over Ukraine, Secretary of State John Kerry warned Russia on Thursday that it faces immediate and “very serious” sanctions if it annexes Ukraine’s strategic Crimea region.

His comments echoed those of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who hours earlier said Russia risks “massive” political and economic consequences if it refuses to soften its stance against the new government in Kiev.

The warnings from the West served as a last attempt to head off a confrontation over Crimea, which holds a vote Sunday on whether to break off from Ukraine and perhaps join Russia. The showdown has been cast as a struggle for the future of Ukraine, a country with the size and population similar to France, which is caught between its long-standing ties and traditions with Russia and more progressive and economic opportunities in the West.

Kerry was headed to London later Thursday in his last meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov before the Crimea vote. In a brief phone call Thursday morning, Kerry underscored U.S. concerns about the Crimea vote and made clear there will be costs if Russia continues to escalate the crisis, according to a senior State Department official familiar with the discussion. The official was not authorized to discuss the situation by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Kerry and Lavrov have spoken almost daily as the Ukraine crisis has unfolded but have yet to find any common ground.

At a Senate hearing, Kerry said Moscow should expect the U.S. and European Union to take measures against it on Monday if Russia accepts and acts on a decision by Crimea to secede from Ukraine. The U.S. and EU say the vote Sunday violates Ukraine’s constitution and international law. Russia has said it will respect the results of the referendum.

“There will be a response of some kind of the referendum itself and, in addition, if there is no sign of any capacity to be able to move forward and resolve this issue, there will be a very serious series of steps on Monday in Europe and here,” Kerry told the Senate panel.

It was not clear, however, whether Russia would heed the warnings, and Moscow has refused demands by the West to pull back troops from Crimea and respect Ukraine’s territorial boundaries. Under a long-standing security agreement with Ukraine, Russia is allowed to deploy up to 25,000 troops to the Crimean Peninsula, and has a large navy there.

“There are limits on how much blunt force, in terms of sanctions and isolation, will move somebody who doesn’t seem to have been particularly responsive to that throughout his career,” said John Norris, a security expert at the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress think-tank in Washington. He was referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Think Putin will listen to the United States? In my opinion, the answer is no. Putin right now has the power and knows that the U.S. won’t really do anything. President Obama has made us weak and Russia would love to call our bluff.

Deportation Review

According to the USA Today, President Obama has told the Department of Homeland Security to review the way it enforces our nation’s immigration laws. President Obama wants enforcement of those laws and deportation to be done more humanely.

President Obama has ordered the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a system-wide review of the way it enforces the nation’s immigration laws, asking the department “to see how it can conduct enforcement more humanely within the confines of the law,” according to a White House statement.

The order comes at a critical time for the president, who continues pushing Congress to pass a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws, but is facing increased pressure from immigration advocates who say he should halt all deportations until a new law is passed.

Obama has already taken several steps in recent years to slow down the pace of deportations from the country.

Two years ago, he created a program to halt the deportations of undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children. More than 520,000 people have qualified for that program, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. And in November, his administration formalized a program that allows the immediate relatives of U.S. military members who are undocumented immigrants to stay in the country.

Obama has said that’s as far as he legally can go, meaning Congress must act to stop other deportations. But the House is making little progress on legislation to revise immigration laws, and immigration advocates have again turned their attention toward Obama for relief from deportations.

Many felt the president could have extended the protections he gave to young undocumented immigrants to broader segments of the undocumented immigrant population. Now, Obama has been receiving that pressure from Congressional leaders who have been focused on getting an immigration bill through Congress.

Other Top Stories:

Citizens Talk NELCDC at City Hall 

Abbott Wants to Stop Lawmakers From Profiting from their Position 

Colorado Takes in $2 Million in Pot Taxes… In The First Month

Mark Davis: The Nasty, Negative Runoff Ads are Coming

Cornyn Doesn’t Sound too Happy With Cruz 

Surprise! Obamacare Premiums are Going Up! 

The Anti-E-cigarette Conspriacy  

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.

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