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Congressional Quarterly

FHA steps up in crisis, but can pace be sustained? August 3, 2009

By Karoun Demirjian The housing market may be showing signs of recovery, but home lending is still on government life support. With many homeowners rushing to refinance and private banks strapped for cash, federally backed agencies remain the biggest players in the mortgage market — and the most bulked-up federal lender is the Federal Housing […]

Balancing Border Security (Cover Story) October 20, 2008

By Karoun Demirjian Since Texas Rangers began patrolling the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border on horseback in the late 19th century, the government’s approach to securing the frontier has been decidedly hit-and-miss. Ad hoc efforts to block illegal crossings were limited by scarce resources and the considerable logistical challenges of covering vast amounts of desolate territory. Only […]

Immigration courts struggling to keep up September 8, 2008

By Karoun Demirjian Two weeks after federal agents conducted the largest-ever raid of illegal immigrants, in the small town of Laurel, Miss., the episode has largely washed out of the news cycle. The raid — which pulled in nearly 600 illegal immigrants working at a plant for Howard Industries, a manufacturer of electric transformers — […]

Dealing with the Middle East’s wildcard June 9, 2008

By Karoun Demirjian As American politicians continue to debate when, whether and under what conditions they may engage in diplomatic talks with Iran, they’ve paid scant attention to a quiet initiative already under way in the Middle East. Last month, confirmed reports surfaced that Syria, working with Turkey as a mediator, has opened a fresh round […]

Crisis in Burma: Can a helping hand be a fist? May 19, 2008

By Karoun Demirjian The initial catastrophe was devastating enough. After Cyclone Nargis hit the Myanmar coast May 2, reports indicated the death toll from the storm would be as high as 10,000. But as international aid workers rushed to deliver assistance, a political disaster followed. Myanmar’’s repressive junta, which has preached dogmatic distrust of the […]