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Franco Ordoñez

Franco Ordoñez is a White House Correspondent for NPR's Washington Desk. Before he came to NPR in 2019, Ordoñez covered the White House for McClatchy. He has also written about diplomatic affairs, foreign policy and immigration, and has been a correspondent in Cuba, Colombia, Mexico and Haiti.

Ordoñez has received several state and national awards for his work, including the Casey Medal, the Gerald Loeb Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Journalism. He is a two-time reporting fellow with the International Center for Journalists, and is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and the University of Georgia.

Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET

Immigration hard-liners inside and outside the White House are fighting to keep Ken Cuccinelli and Mark Morgan in the running for the top job at the Department of Homeland Security after their candidacies hit a snag.

Democrats onstage during their party's presidential debate were quick to condemn President Trump's abrupt and unilateral decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria. But their responses as to what role the U.S. should play in the region were generally cloudier.

Trump's decision last week appeared to set in motion a Turkish incursion into northern Syria and the advancement of Turkish-backed militias against Kurdish forces that had helped the United States battle ISIS.

A disturbing video depicting President Trump shooting, stabbing and setting on fire critics and the media was played at a conference held by a pro-Trump group at his Miami resort.

The video rampage was shown during a three-day conference held by American Priority at Trump's National Doral Miami, according to the organizers.

Updated at 10:02 p.m. ET

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan is leaving his post, the latest casualty at the department responsible for protecting U.S. borders.

President Trump said in a tweet Friday night that McAleenan had done an "outstanding job" but that he wanted to "spend more time with family and go to the private sector."

Trump added that he would announce a new acting secretary next week.

The growing divide between President Trump and many of his fellow Republicans over his decision to move U.S. troops in Syria out of the way of a Turkish incursion threatens his delicate alliance with the congressional GOP at a time when he needs their support more than ever, party strategists say.

Some of Trump's closest allies, however, say the division may ultimately help him with an impeachment fight.

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Republicans who support President Trump say the next three weeks are crucial to determine whether Trump can keep Republicans united behind him or if emerging cracks break open even wider.

Their growing concern is that the White House is not acting with enough urgency to combat the whistleblower fight.

They're calling for a more coordinated but also direct and aggressive strategy, similar to the one used when Republicans defended Brett Kavanaugh when Trump nominated him for the Supreme Court.

Updated at 6:21 p.m. ET

President Trump now says China should investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Trump brought up China, just days before restarting trade talks with Beijing, while answering questions about his call with his Ukrainian counterpart and what specifically he hoped Ukraine would do about the Biden family.

Updated at 5:17 p.m. ET

House Democrats postponed the first of their planned series of depositions about the Ukraine affair after objections by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday.

The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, had been expected to meet with the House Intelligence Committee behind closed doors on Wednesday — but that has been moved to Oct. 11, a committee official said.

The whistleblower complaint released Thursday charges that White House officials attempted to limit access to potentially damaging details about President Trump's call with Ukraine's president by using a classified system reserved for highly sensitive information.

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President Trump will return to the world's biggest stage this week to address heads of state at a time when U.S. global leadership is seen as waning.

When he takes the stage at the United Nations General Assembly for the third time on Tuesday, Trump is expected to "affirm America's leadership role" and "underscore that America is a positive alternative to authoritarianism," said a senior administration official.

Updated at 6:16 p.m. ET

President Trump's brand-new national security adviser, Robert O'Brien, will inherit a National Security Council struggling to attract talent, current and former U.S. officials tell NPR.

President Trump has promised to help the Bahamas recover from Hurricane Dorian, the devastating storm that has decimated parts of the island nation.

The United States is not only concerned about the Bahamian people, but also the national security implications if China steps in to help fill the country's vast needs, according to current and former U.S. officials.

Parts of the Bahamas are only about 50 miles off the coast of Florida, raising concerns about the potential for such a powerful economic and political adversary to gain a greater foothold in such proximity.

The Trump administration's decision to shift more than $100 million of federal disaster aid to help pay for more detention beds for migrants has set off an outcry just as Florida is bracing for Hurricane Dorian.

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FRANCO ORDOÑEZ, BYLINE: Thank you.

: We heard from President Trump not long ago, and he had this to say.

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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: These are two incredible places. We love the people. Hate has no place in our country.

The Trump administration is actively investigating imposing a travel ban against Guatemala unless the Central American nation takes significant steps to curb illegal migration northward.

As the United States has struggled to build support among its traditional allies in Europe to combat what it calls Iran's aggression, it has been forced to look elsewhere, such as Latin America, for support.

This week, the Argentine government plans to designate the militant group Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, giving the Trump administration another ally in its push to build an international coalition to confront Iran. Hezbollah, which is based in Lebanon, is supported by Iran.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

The White House announced Tuesday that it has quietly drafted a 620-page immigration bill and has lined up 10 Republican senators to co-sponsor the measure should it be introduced, according to a senior administration official involved in the process.

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Enoch Orona is unsure when he'll be dispatched for his third tour of duty. But the Navy sailor's greatest fear is not combat — it's returning home to find that his mom isn't there.

Orona, 30, is paying close attention to the news, checking his phone often for any updates on immigration raids that President Trump announced could begin any day now. He can't help but imagine men with guns surrounding his parents' home in Virginia.

Updated at 6:55 p.m. ET

President Trump announced Thursday he would sign an executive order to obtain data about the U.S. citizenship and noncitizenship status of everyone living in the United States.

In a Rose Garden ceremony, Trump said he would drop efforts to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census. Instead, his executive order will direct all U.S. agencies to provide the Department of Commerce all information they have on U.S. citizenship, noncitizenship and immigration status.

The Trump administration is seeking to fine some immigrants, who are in the United States illegally, hundreds of thousands of dollars for failing to take steps to leave after being ordered to do so, according to government documents obtained by NPR.

The Department of Homeland Security sent out a batch of notices across the country to targeted individuals ordering them to pay fines of up to nearly $500,000 for "failing to depart the U.S. as previously agreed," among other factors.

The Trump administration is slapping economic sanctions against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's son in its latest effort to unseat the South American country's socialist regime.

Nicolás Maduro Guerra heads the Corps of the Special Inspectors of the Presidency and is a member of the pro-government National Constituent Assembly.

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NOEL KING, HOST:

All right. Immigration was a big issue in last night's debate as expected. NPR White House correspondent Franco Ordoñez was keeping an eye on the questions and the answers.

Good morning, Franco.

FRANCO ORDOÑEZ, BYLINE: Good morning.

The Trump administration wants to scale back a program that protects undocumented family members of active-duty troops from being deported, according to attorneys familiar with those plans.

The attorneys are racing to submit applications for what is known as parole in place after hearing from the wives and loved ones of deployed soldiers who have been told that option is "being terminated."

Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET

First lady Melania Trump announced Tuesday that her own spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, will take over for Sarah Sanders as White House press secretary.

Updated at 7:25 p.m. ET

President Trump is delaying immigration raids that were set to begin this weekend, saying he will give Congress two weeks to make changes to asylum law before dispatching Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents around the country to deport undocumented immigrants.

Immigration rights advocates had been preparing for the planned sweep of recently arrived migrants, which, according to sources familiar with the planned raids, were set to begin as soon as Sunday in 10 cities around the country.

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