With Trump’s rise, hard-line immigration ideas take hold in GOP

Now, all of those ideas have been embraced by Donald Trump, the front-runner in the Republican presidential race, who has followed up weeks of doom-saying about illegal immigrants with a call for an unprecedented crackdown.


On Monday, Trump’s hard turn was already influencing the rest of the GOP field. In Iowa, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker also began to call for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, echoing a longtime Trump demand. Walker said the separation barrier between Israel and the Palestinian territories is proof that the concept could work here.

Walker also seemed to echo Trump by questioning “birthright citizenship,” the constitutional provision that grants citizenship to anyone born in this country. After a reporter asked if birthright citizenship should be ended, Walker said: “I think that’s something we should — yeah, absolutely, going forward.”

But — in a sign of how quickly Trump has changed the terms of this race — Walker had difficulty clearly articulating where exactly he stands on the issue, wanting to steal some of Trump’s momentum but not quite sure to what extent. He went on to say that if the United States enforces the laws it already has, that alone might take care of the problem.

A debate over harsh immigration measures could mean an even bigger headache for Republican leaders, who are desperate to attract more Latino voters. “If Hispanic Americans hear that the GOP doesn’t want them in the United States, they won’t pay attention to our next sentence,” the party concluded in its “autopsy” of the 2012 presidential election loss.

Trump’s immigration proposals have also redefined his role in the race. Previously, the billionaire sold himself as a seat-of-the-pants dealmaker who didn’t want to tie himself down with specific promises. For weeks, his policy on illegal immigrants was essentially that he would figure something out eventually.

“Some are going to have to go,” Trump said in July, when asked if all 11 million-plus undocumented immigrants would have to be deported. “And some, we’re just going to see what happens.”

Now, however, Trump has committed to a plan that is detailed and ambitious, with none of that trust-me ambiguity. For now it is the only formal plank in his campaign platform; on his website, it is the only position listed under the category “Positions.”

“What you have to give to Trump is, whatever way he’s done it, he has pushed this front and center,” said Roy Beck of NumbersUSA, which wants to lower overall U.S. immigration, legal and illegal. The elites of the Republican Party, Beck said, “absolutely did not want this discussed in this debate. And instead it’s front and center. It’s strange, but it is the triumph of the working class of the Republican Party.”

Still, on Monday, even some who supported the ideals of Trump’s plan said they weren’t sure it would actually work. It would require a massive extension of federal authority into maternity wards and Western Union offices, tracing the parentage of children and money in order to deny illegal immigrants a comfortable spot in U.S. society.

“If we could get 12 million people to leave, why don’t we just do that now? This idea that we’re going to get ’em all to leave, and we’re going to get the good ones back, it’s a fairy tale,” said Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies, which seeks to reduce illegal immigration. “It’s just not the way that government could function. It’s dopey. It’s a gimmick.”

The most ambitious idea in Trump’s immigration policy would be to overturn birthright citizenship. That right is rooted in the 14th Amendment and another law passed after the Civil War. Both intended to guarantee citizenship for freed slaves, but it was clear that they would also give immigrants’ children a place in America.

“Will (it) not have the effect of naturalizing the children of Chinese and Gypsies born in this country?” then-Sen. Edgar Cowan, R-Pa., who opposed the bill, asked in the Senate.

“Undoubtedly,” said Sen. Lyman Trumbull, D-Ill., who supported it, according to the Congressional Research Service. An 1898 Supreme Court decision, United States vs. Wong Kim Ark, involving the child of Chinese immigrants, confirmed that birth in the United States was enough.

Trump, however, says the policy cannot continue. “This remains the biggest magnet for illegal immigration,” says a policy paper on his website.

Beyond Walker, two other Republicans in the 2016 race — former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.) and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal — have expressed support for ending the provision this year. Two others, Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), have supported it in the past.

But Trump is the front-runner, making his backing especially invigorating for the idea’s long-thwarted proponents on Capitol Hill.

“Trump is strong enough that he can do that,” said Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who proposed the Birthright Citizenship Acts of 2011, 2013 and 2015, none of which got out of their subcommittees in the GOP-run House. “He has injected this into the presidential debate, and now the rest of them will have to run to catch up with him on the immigration issue.”

Those who want to end birthright citizenship note that many other industrialized countries do not offer the same guarantee to children born to illegal immigrants. But if a President Trump managed to pass a law on the issue, the Supreme Court might find it unconstitutional. If he wanted to amend the Constitution, he would need ratification by the states — starting a long fight that could alienate the same Hispanic voters the GOP has been trying to court.

Even if it worked, Trump would need to find another way of dealing with children born to illegal immigrants.

“Then you would have 11 million, plus their millions of kids, all of whom would be forever stateless in America — a situation that would just threaten social cohesion,” said Frank Sharry of the pro-immigration group America’s Voice. “It would be a mess of our own making.”

Another controversial Trump idea is the mass deportation of illegal immigrants. His campaign has embraced concepts similar to Mitt Romney’s “self-deportation” plan from the 2012 race: Under tougher enforcement, some immigrants will leave on their own.

If they don’t, Trump has said, he’s willing to round them up and send them home. This part of his plan, for now, is short on details.

“But how do you do that?” CNN’s Dana Bash asked the candidate last month.

“Excuse me,” he said. “We have got to find them.”

“But how?”

“Politicians are not going to find them, because they have no clue,” Trump said. “We will find them. We will get them out.”

It also would not be easy — or cheap.

The American Action Forum, a conservative research organization, estimated that deporting all of the country’s undocumented immigrants would take 20 years and cost between $420 billion and $619 billion. It also found that the move would hurt the economy as workers vanished and would put a vast new strain on the U.S. legal system.

“You need prosecuting attorneys, and you need enough judges and magistrates,” said Thad Bingel, who served as the chief of staff of Customs and Border Protection in the George W. Bush administration.

Trump’s crackdown would also try to stop illegal immigrants from sending money out of the United States, by “impound(ing) all remittance payments derived from illegal wages.” That task could require new checks on those wiring money — which, in turn, could spawn new strategies by immigrants to avoid those checks.

On Monday, former Florida governor Jeb Bush — who has opposed calls to deport all illegal immigrants — rejected Trump’s ideas as impractical, both logistically and politically. “How do you revoke remittances?” he asked. “A plan needs to be grounded in reality.”

“Sure, some of the mechanics, some of the logistics, have a major hurdles in front of them,” said Bob Dane of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which seeks to curtail immigration. Still, Dane said, he applauded Trump for the idea at the core of his proposals: that immigration should serve the security interests and protect the jobs of people already in the United States. “My God, somebody’s espousing a principle.”

Other strategies laid out by Trump seek to lower legal, as well as illegal, immigration.

For one thing, Trump would make it more expensive for U.S. companies to bring in skilled workers on H-1B visas. And he would place a moratorium on new green cards issued to workers abroad, to allow overall immigration levels to “subside to more moderate historical averages,” in the words of Trump’s policy paper.

Those ideas are at odds with many mainstream Republicans, who have sought to increase the number of highly skilled immigrants coming to this country legally. They also clash with a statement Trump himself had been using on the campaign trail — that his “great, great wall” would have a door.

“I don’t mind having a big, beautiful door in that wall so that people can come into this country legally,” Trump said as recently as this month’s Republican debate.

Johnson reported from Des Moines.

Post-Bloomberg feature budget

The feature editors are John Price (Entertainment/Travel), Mary Liekweg (Design/Home/Health) and Paul Freedman (Food), at 202-334-7666.


Health, Science

BIOLOGICAL-AGE — A study of 1,000 38-year-olds shows ‘biological age’ ranges from 30 to 60; scientists are trying to figure out why some people age faster than others. 725 words, by Ariana Eunjung Cha (Post).

HOSPITALS-SENIORS — Want a good laugh? Head to the hospital and that’s no joke; hospitals are signing up seniors – their customers – in wellness programs, smiles included. 1,180 words, by Susan Jaffe (Post special). Two photos.

HEALTH-CHERRIES — Tart cherries are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that help relieve inflammation, pain and damage to cells, organs and blood vessels. 580 words, by Lena H. Sun (Post). Moved Thursday.

NUTRITION — Is coconut water really more hydrating? A guide to all the added health claims by makers of plant-based waters, flavored waters and more. 1,145 words, Ellie Krieger (Post special). Upcoming.

NUTRITION-QANDA — Getting children to graduate to the adult-food menu; you can nudge young ones away from “kids’ meals” by embedding healthy habits as reflexive behavior. 1,065 words, by Hope Warshaw (Post special). Upcoming.

HEALTH-SCAN — Women who have it all find that “all” includes a permanent state of tiredness. Some ideas on getting energized. 540 words, by Nancy Szokan (Post).

FIBROSIS – WASHINGTON – Federal regulators approve a new drug that treats the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis and might be used to help nearly half of the 30,000 patients in the U.S. with the fatal genetic disease. 650 words, by Lenny Bernstein (Post). Moved Thursday.

DOCTORS — Clothing for physicians is more than just a matter of personal style: it is an emblem of their specialty, training and culture. 1,175 words, by Vineet Chopra and Sanjay Saint (Post special).

GMOS — Why we’re so scared of GMOs, according to someone who has studied them since the start; Q&A. 1,840 words, by Roberto A. Ferdman (Post). Moved Monday on National wire.

MOWING-SAFETY — Parents, here’s a lawn mower story intended to scare you; you can’t be too careful when it comes to children and machinery.. 590 words, by Chad Hayes (Post special).

PARENTING-DISORDERS — Eight things you didn’t know about perinatal (which includes both pregnancy and postpartum) mood disorders. 1,060 words, by Sarah Bregel (Post special). Moved Monday.

CORALISLANDS — What happens to a coral reef when an island is built on top? In the South China Sea, seven coral reefs are being turned into islands with harbors and landing strips by the Chinese military, not only raising political tensions but also destroying a rich ecological network. 1,075 words, by Eric Niiler (Post special). With two photos and one graphic.

VACCINES – The untold story of how today’s fight over vaccines has its roots in the American Revolution. Back in 1776, “liberty” meant access to small pox inoculations. 800 words, by Carolyn Johnson (Post). One video. Moved Thursday.

MOSQUITOES — Your summertime guide to mosquitoes: Why they bite and what to do about it. 1,250 words, by Arlene Karidis (Post special).

BUG-REPELLENTS — The EPA says you can safely use DEET to repel bugs, but some keep searching for natural products. 930 words, by Jill U. Adams (Post special).

SCIENCE-GRILLING — The science of grilling: Stay away from charred meat; of course, you don’t want to undercook it, either, but there is a happy medium. 715 words, by Rachel Feltman (Post).

SCIENCE-SCAN — Blind since he was 13 months old, Daniel Kish navigates the same way bats do – with echolation. 360 words, by Nancy Szokan (Post).

There is no HEALTH-EXERCISE this week.

Arts, Entertainment

COMIC-CON — Comic-Con 2015: With female fandom on the rise, comics reach gender equity. 1,550 words, by Michael Cavna (Post). One photo.

COSBY-STATUE — A Disney theme park is removing a likeness of Bill Cosby after this week’s revelation that the comedian provided drugs to women with whom he wished to have sex. 715 words, by Justin Wm. Moyer (Post).

DEEN — Paula Deen apologizes, fires social media manager after “brownface” tweet. 220 words, by Elahe Izadi and Sarah Larimer (Post).

TV-SIMPSONS — The veteran voice actor Harry Shearer will return to “The Simpsons” for two more seasons. 235 words, by Michael Cavna (Post).

SHARKS — Discovery’s Shark Week has forced a TV feeding frenzy as National Geographic takes the plunge. 550 words, by Jacob Bogage (Post).

FILM-MINIONS-ADV10 — Review of “Minions.” By Michael O’Sullivan (Post). Upcoming, with photo.

FILM-GALLOWS — Review of “The Gallows.” By Michael O’Sullivan (Post). Moving Thursday, with photo.

FILM-SELFLESS-ADV10 — Ryan Reynolds, Ben Kingsley and Matthew Goode can’t elevate the pedestrian thriller “Self/less.” Friday advance. 435 words, by Ann Hornaday (Post). One photo.

FILM-CARTEL-ADV10 _The documentary “Cartel Land” offers a dismaying look at a thriving culture of lawlessness, despite efforts to eradicate it. Friday advance. 600 words, by Michael O’Sullivan (Post). Two photos.

FILM-AMY-ADV10 _The documentary “Amy” reaffirms Amy Winehouse’s reputation as a musician, while indicting tabloid culture. Friday advance. 550 words, by Ann Hornaday (Post). One photo.

FILM-MANGLEHORN-ADV10 — Al Pacino and Holly Hunter aren’t quite enough to bring believability to the syrupy, oddball romance “Manglehorn.” Friday advance. 255 words, by Michael O’Sullivan (Post). One photo.

FILM-BATKID-ADV10 _The documentary “Batkid” goes behind the scenes with a Make-A-Wish project that captured the imagination of the world. Friday advance. 350 words, by Michael O’Sullivan (Post). One photo.

FILM-JIMMY-ADV10 — An Irish community pursues truth, beauty and simple fun in the Depression-era drama “Jimmy’s Hall.” Friday advance. 525 words, by Ann Hornaday (Post). One photo.

FILM-REBELS-ADV10 — “Rebels of the Neon God,” the previously unreleased 1992 debut of Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang, is a gangster movie, and more. Friday advance. 500 words, by Mark Jenkins (Post special). One photo.

FILM-PIXAR — How the new Pixar film, “Inside Out,” explores emotional ambiguity such as feeling happy and sad at the same time. 1,170 words, by Ana Swanson (Post). One photo.

LAEMMLE-EXHIBIT — WASHINGTON _The exhibit “100 Years of Hollywood — the Laemmle Effect” shines a light on the German immigrant who molded America’s movie industry. 1,200 words, by Raymond M. Lane (Post special).

BOOKS-SPEAK — In Louisa Hall’s “Speak,” a robot takeover to welcome. 810 words, by Alyssa Rosenberg (Post).

PIANO-MAN — Homeless and luckless, piano player Donald Gould wows the Internet and gets a new start. 765 words, by Lindsey Bever (Post).

JAPAN-HOUSES — Former U.S. military homes have been transformed into an arts community in Tokyo. 765 words, by Hiroki Nakai (Japan News/Yomiuri). One photo.

JAPAN-SUNSET – TOKYO — Two actresses shine in “Sunset Blvd.” Interview. 600 words, by Tateki Kato (Japan News). One photo.

JARED — Making no fuss is Jared Fogle’s trademark. 1,015 words, by Justin Wm. Moyer (Post).


LIBRARIES — Libraries are under fire as they shift from print to digital; across the country, some of the clashes over what kind of books to buy have been heated. 1,405 words, by Michael S. Rosenwald (Post). One photo. Moved on national wire.

PHOTOGRAPHER — BALTIMORE _From the eye of Baltimore’s storm: Devin Allen’s work in his “beautiful ghetto” leads to Time cover, new career. 1,270 words, by Lauren Loftus (Post). Two photos.

HOMEBIRTH — Research shows poor moms who opt for home births are more likely to encounter tragedy. 750 words, by Danielle Paquette (Post). Moved on National wire.

TIMEHACKER — The Timehacker: This harried mom working on a Ph.D discovers that having it all doesn’t have to mean having it all right now. 1,300 words, by Brigid Schulte (Post). One photo.

JAPAN-TOWELS — TOKYO — Tenugui traditional hand towels come in many different colors and patterns. In addition to towels, they can also be used as chic interior decorations, including cushion covers and noren curtains. 590 words, by Yukako Oishi (Japan News/Yomiuri). Four photos.

BAGGAGECHECK — Relationship advice from a clinical psychologist and author of “The Friendship Fix.” 470 words, by Andrea Bonior (Post special).

DATING-COMMENT — I don’t date because being alone is pretty fantastic. 875 words, by Matty Litwack (Post special).

BOUQUET-COMMENT — Most singles hate the bouquet toss. I love it. 700 words, by Lisa Bonos (Post).

Workplace Advice (moved on Financial wire):

CAREER-COACH — Q&A; answering readers questions. 900 words, by Joyce E.A. Russell (Post special). Upcoming.

There is no WATERCOOLER column (Post special) this week; it will resume next week.


OREOS — A slimmer version of the world’s most popular cookie, the Oreo. 575 words, by Roberto A. Ferdman (Post). Moved on Financial wire.

TWINKIES — Twinkies, once bankrupt, is now flirting with $2 billion buyout offers. 500 words, by Drew Harwell (Post). Moved on Financial wire.

FOOD-NOURISH — Grilled Fruit Sundaes With Strawberry Sauce. 850 words, by Ellie Krieger (Post special). One photo.

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Republican leaders worry that Donald Trump is damaging GOP image

The call from Chairman Reince Priebus, described by donors and consultants briefed on the conversation and confirmed by the RNC, underscores the extent to which Trump has gone from an embarrassment to a cause for serious alarm among top Republicans in Washington and nationwide.


But there is little they can do about the mogul and reality-television star, who draws sustenance from controversy and attention. And some fear that, with assistance from Democrats, Trump could become the face of the GOP.

Rather than backing down from his comments about illegal immigrants — whom he characterized as rapists and killers, among other things — Trump has amplified his remarks at every opportunity, including in a round of interviews Wednesday.

He insisted to NBC News that he has “nothing to apologize for” in his repeated remarks about Mexicans. But he also predicted that, if he secures the GOP nomination, “I’ll win the Latino vote.”

Few seem to think he has a chance of becoming his party’s 2016 standard-bearer, even though he is running near the head of the pack in some key states. Summer poll numbers for novelty candidates such as Trump tend to be as perishable as ice cream cones.

“I think he’ll self-destruct relatively quickly. The dynamic, I think, will change very dramatically and Trump will be yesterday’s news,” said former senator Robert Bennett, R-Utah. “But if this does have legs, if Trump can keep this going, it will be very worrisome.”

The fear among Bennett and others is that Trump will set back the party’s efforts to rehabilitate its image and broaden its appeal. And it appears likely that he will be onstage in the presidential debates that begin next month — a dissonant figure in what GOP leaders had hoped to present as a substantive, experienced and appealing field of candidates.

Priebus’s decision to reach out to Trump came after days of talks with Republican donors and officials about how best to manage Trump’s outsize presence on the airwaves. Many financiers who are influential at the RNC have been fuming about Trump’s ascent and told Priebus that he must ensure that the RNC’s efforts over the past year to win more of the Hispanic vote is not harmed.

Reluctant to engage publicly and having developed a friendship with Trump in recent years, Priebus decided to call the candidate and quietly ask him to soften his pitch, said GOP donors familiar with Priebus’s thinking. Trump had left a voice-mail message for Priebus over the weekend asking if they could catch up, making the call’s context less confrontational, the donors said.

The call lasted about 45 minutes, the donors said, and Priebus was cordial, updating Trump on the party and the primary calendar while also urging him to “tone it down” — a phrase used repeatedly by those with knowledge of the exchange. Priebus told Trump that making inroads with Hispanics is one of his central missions as chairman. He told Trump that tone matters greatly and that Trump’s comments are more offensive than he might imagine with that bloc.

“Chairman Priebus often speaks privately with candidates seeking our party’s nomination,” Sean Spicer, chief strategist for the RNC, said in a statement Wednesday. “He did have a very respectful conversation with Mr. Trump on Wednesday. They discussed multiple comments, including comments on illegal immigration.”

At the same time, however, Trump is tapping into a current of outrage on the right — both at the influx of people coming across the border and over proposals to liberalize the nation’s immigration laws.

“The fact that he is rising in the polls has something to do with tapping into an angst and anger, especially on immigration, that the other candidates have been unwilling or unable to harness,” said Reed Galen, a Republican strategist based in California.

Steve Duprey, a Republican National Committee member from New Hampshire, where Trump is running a strong second to former Florida governor Jeb Bush in some polls, said the tycoon’s “frustration with border enforcement is shared with lots of Americans, but I find his views on immigration to be contrary to what the party of Lincoln stands for.”

None of the Republican contenders, with the exception of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, has defended Trump. But those who have condemned him were slow to do so, and it may ultimately be difficult for them to distance themselves from a celebrity candidate who commands a spotlight and a microphone wherever he goes.

Trump “could become the 2016 version of Missouri Rep. Todd Akin, who tarnished the GOP brand in 2012 with an offensive statement about rape,” strategist Karl Rove wrote in a column for Thursday’s Wall Street Journal. “Republican leaders from Mitt Romney on down immediately condemned his words, but swing voters were persuaded that every Republican believed what Mr. Akin said.”

One GOP state party chairman, speaking on the condition of anonymity so he could be frank, said of Trump: “He’s already done some damage, and it could be substantial going forward. He could be one of the reasons we lose. It’s that serious. There’s nothing we can do about it, and that’s what’s so scary.”

Meanwhile, the Democrats — led by their presumptive nominee — are doing all they can to make the rest of the GOP accountable for Trump’s words.

“I feel very bad and very disappointed with him and with the Republican Party for not responding immediately and saying, ‘Enough. Stop it,’ ” former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton said in an interview Tuesday on CNN. “But they are all in the same general area on immigration. They don’t want to provide a path to citizenship. They range across a spectrum of being either grudgingly welcome or hostile toward immigrants.”

Republican leaders say their party must do better with the nation’s rapidly growing Latino electorate to be competitive for the White House. Romney, the GOP’s 2012 nominee, won only 27 percent of the Hispanic vote.

Trump is slated to campaign Saturday in Arizona and Nevada, states with heavily Latino populations, and plans to discuss immigration.

His candidacy has created a sensation in Spanish-language media. On Tuesday night, Univision led its newscast with its own version of a Washington Post report on the large number of immigrants building the new Trump Hotel in downtown Washington. The same topic was Telemundo’s second story.

Earlier, the two networks covered a comment Trump shared on his Twitter feed saying that Bush “has to like the Mexican Illegals because of his wife,” Columba, who was born in Mexico.

Trump subsequently deleted the tweet, but defended it Wednesday on CNN: “Do I regret it? No, I don’t regret it. If he loves his wife and she’s from Mexico, I think it probably has an influence on him.”

Campaigning in Hudson, New Hampshire, on Wednesday night, Bush laughed it off: “You can love the Mexican culture, you can love your Mexican-American wife and also believe that you need to control the border. This is some kind of bizarre idea that you can have an affection for people in another country and not believe you ought to abide by the rule of law.”

Amid the furor, well-known Spanish-born chef José Andrés announced Wednesday that he is backing out of a deal to open the flagship restaurant in the hotel Trump is developing in the Old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Donald Trump Jr., Trump’s son, threatened legal action against Andrés, who joined a growing list of people and businesses that have severed their financial ties with the elder Trump. Among the others are NBC Universal, retail giant Macy’s, mattress manufacturer Serta and Univision.

Republican leaders are reassuring themselves that the infatuation that some voters feel with Trump will fade, and that they will turn to more serious contenders.

“This is a very deep, interesting, talented field, and sooner or later, the attention will come back to this field,” said Tom Rath, a New Hampshire GOP elder who has advised presidential candidates since the 1980s. “In a vacuum, it looks like something is happening here. I don’t think there is.”

Matt Borges, chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, expressed confidence as he finished a Wednesday tour of the Cleveland arena where the first debate will take place, on Aug. 6, and where the Republican National Convention will be held next year.

“One thing I’m certain of is Donald Trump is not going to be our nominee,” he said. “This will be one of those things we look back on and say, ‘Remember when?’ “

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Washington Post staff writer Ed O’Keefe in Hudson, N.H., contributed to this report.

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Video: Since Donald Trump announced his presidential bid, he’s drawn plenty of controversy and outrage for his comments on the campaign trail. Here are some of the key moments. (The Washington Post)

URL: 杭州桑拿网,wapo.st/1CZkYAd

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FAA records show hundreds of close calls between airplanes and drones

At 8:51 a.


m., a white drone startled the pilot of a JetBlue flight, appearing off its left wing moments before it landed at Los Angeles International Airport. Five hours later, a quadcopter whizzed underneath an Allegiant Air flight as it approached the same runway. Elsewhere in California, pilots of light aircraft reported narrowly dodging drones in San Jose and La Verne.

In Washington, a Cessna pilot reported a drone cruising at 1,500 feet in highly restricted airspace over the nation’s capital, forcing the U.S. military to scramble fighter jets as a precaution. In Louisville, a silver-and-white drone almost collided with a training aircraft. In Chicago, United Airlines Flight 970 reported seeing a drone pass by at an altitude of 3,500 feet.

All told, 12 episodes were recorded on Sunday of small drones interfering with airplanes or coming too close to airports, including other incidents in New Mexico, Texas, Illinois, Florida and North Carolina, according to previously undisclosed reports filed with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Before last year, close encounters with rogue drones were unheard of. But as a result of a sales boom, small, largely unregulated remote-control aircraft are clogging U.S. airspace, snarling air traffic and giving the FAA fits.

Pilots have reported a surge in close calls with drones: nearly 700 incidents so far this year, according to FAA statistics, about triple the number recorded for all of 2014. The agency has acknowledged growing concern about the problem and its inability to do much to tame it.

So far, the FAA has kept basic details of most of this year’s incidents under wraps, declining to release reports that are ordinarily public records and that would spotlight where and when the close calls occurred.

The Washington Post obtained several hundred of the rogue-drone reports from a government official who objected to the FAA’s secrecy. Laura Brown, an FAA spokeswoman, declined to comment on the reports obtained by The Post.

The documents show that remote-control planes are penetrating some of the most guarded airspace in the country.

Drones have also continued to pose a headache for Secret Service agents seeking to protect the president, according to the FAA reports.

On March 29, the Secret Service reported that a rogue drone was hovering near a West Palm Beach, Florida, golf course where President Barack Obama was hitting the links. Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary confirmed the incident. He declined to provide further details but said the Secret Service “has procedures and protocols in place to address these situations when they occur.”

Two weeks later, just after noon on April 13, authorities received a report of a white drone flying in the vicinity of the White House. Military aircraft scrambled to intercept the drone, which was last seen soaring over the Tidal Basin on the Mall, heading toward Arlington, Virginia, according to the FAA reports.

Both episodes occurred after a widely reported scare in January, when a small quadcopter drone crashed on the White House grounds, briefly triggering a lockdown and reinforcing concerns about security at the executive mansion.

U.S. officials have said they are growing more concerned about the possibility that terrorists might seek to use small drones. In a July 31 intelligence bulletin, the Department of Homeland Security said it has recorded more than 500 cases since 2012 in which unauthorized drones have loitered over “sensitive sites and critical installations.”

According to the FAA documents, military aircraft flying near U.S. bases or in restricted areas have also reported close calls with drones on at least a dozen occasions this year.

On July 10, the pilot of an Air Force F-15 Strike Eagle said a small drone came within 50 feet of the fighter jet. Two weeks later, the pilot of a Navy T-45 Goshawk flying near Yuma, Arizona, reported that a drone buzzed 100 feet underneath.

Despite a prohibition against small drones flying within five miles of airports or above 400 feet, the FAA documents show that the robotic aircraft have become pervasive intruders, hovering near runways and busy air-traffic corridors.

Pilots are also spotting the small drones at altitudes previously unheard of — higher than 10,000 feet. On May 30, crews from Caribbean Airlines and JetBlue separately reported seeing a drone with colored lights at an altitude of 12,000 feet about 25 miles southeast of John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.

The FAA reports are brief and preliminary in nature. In some cases, follow-up investigations determined that objects pilots had assumed to be drones were in fact something else.

On May 9, the pilot of United Airlines Flight 863 — traveling from San Francisco to Sydney, Australia — reported that the Boeing 777 hit a drone at an altitude of 3,000 to 4,000 feet along the California coast.

“Sparks were observed after contact,” according to the FAA report, which said the Boeing kept flying because it did not appear to be damaged. A United spokesman said it was later determined that the plane had hit a bird, not a drone.

In most cases, rogue drones disappear without a trace. The aircraft are usually too small to be detected by radar and do not carry transponders that would broadcast their locations. Unlike other planes, these drones are not marked with serial numbers, and their owners are not required to register them.

No incident has resulted in a midair collision. But in dozens of cases, pilots reported that drones flew within 500 feet of their aircraft, a distance so close that they usually had no time to react.

On March 21, the crew of Delta Air Lines Flight 874 told air-traffic controllers in New York that a small drone passed within 50 feet of the airliner’s left wing near LaGuardia Airport. One month earlier, on Feb. 24, another Delta flight heading toward Los Angeles reported that a red-and-black drone coming from the opposite direction overflew the Boeing 757 by just 100 feet.

In an incident near Los Angeles International Airport, American Airlines Flight 287 reported on June 8 that a blue-and-silver drone appeared 50 feet off its left side, just above the wing.

Elsewhere, regional carrier Air Wisconsin reported May 10 that a drone whizzed “right off the nose” of the passenger plane at an altitude of 5,000 feet near Charlotte, N.C. Nine days later, another Air Wisconsin flight reported that a drone passed within 10 feet of the aircraft outside Philadelphia.

United and other air carriers declined to comment, referring questions to Airlines for America, an industry group.

Melanie Hinton, a spokeswoman, said the trade association would continue to work with the FAA to educate the public about the proper use of drones. “The U.S. aviation system is the safest in the world, and nothing is more important to us than the safety of our passengers, crew and aircraft,” she said in an email.

Rogue drones are posing a particular threat to small aircraft that often fly at lower altitudes than major air carriers.

The pilot of a single-engine Piper P-28 reported making a “hard left bank” on June 20 to avoid colliding with a silver drone about 5,200 feet above Groton, Conn. On Aug. 1, a Cessna reported that a yellow drone the size of “a dishwasher” came within 50 feet as it was flying near Johnstown, Pa.

Most of the drones were described as small and likely weighing only a few pounds, according to the reports. Aviation-safety experts say that even tiny drones could trigger a disaster by crashing into a propeller or windshield, or getting sucked into a jet engine.

Small drones have become hugely popular with consumers who fly them for recreation. Many models come equipped with sophisticated video cameras yet retail for less than $500 and can be flown with little or no training.

The Consumer Electronics Association estimates that hobbyists will buy 700,000 of the aircraft in the United States this year.

No city has seen more illicit drones than New York. Since March, pilots flying into or out of LaGuardia and Kennedy airports have reported encounters with drones 33 times, according to the FAA reports.

In an interview, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said “the number of near misses is astounding” and predicted that it would be “only a matter of time” before a crash occurs.

Schumer pledged to introduce legislation requiring manufacturers to install technology on all drones to prevent them from flying above 500 feet, near airports or in sensitive airspace. Such technology, known as geo-fencing, relies on satellite navigation to pinpoint a drone’s location.

“Every day without this law increases the chances that a bad accident will occur,” he said.

DJI, the world’s leading seller of consumer drones, began programming such technology last year into all models sold in the United States. Brendan Schulman, the firm’s vice president of policy and legal affairs, said the software upgrade and public education efforts have proven effective.

“The vast, vast majority of drone users are flying safely and responsibly,” he added. “The real issue is that there are a handful of outliers.”

A Philippine island of 120 warily watches China’s military might in action nearby

Life on the atoll with its clutch of buildings was for decades leisurely and quiet, with sporadic Internet access and not much to do but fish and stroll on the beach.


Now its 120-odd residents find themselves on the doorstep of a dispute over territory that has fed tensions among some of the world’s biggest powers. Change has come to Pagasa in the constant presence of China.

More than 510 miles (820 kilometers) from the Philippine capital, and defended by a platoon of soldiers with limited weapons, the island is a gateway to reefs claimed and occupied by China. Separated from the nearest big Philippine island by a 36-hour boat ride in rough seas, it relies on ad hoc military flights and a quarterly visit from a resupply ship that must dodge Chinese vessels to dock.

“We’ve become used to the sight of big Chinese ships around Pagasa,” said Nelly Dalabajan, 28, a nurse who went to Pagasa in February for a four-month rotation. “Seeing 30 ships and boats at one time is normal. We’re worried about the Chinese driving us out.”

As China and other South China Sea claimant states bicker, the waters that are a conduit for energy supplies to Asia and carry about half the world’s merchant tonnage — $5.3 trillion in goods each year — are increasingly tense. Amid the posturing, with China warning the U.S. military away from reclaimed reefs and the U.S. patrolling the area, the question is: Where does this end?

For the people who live and work in the waters the risk of a mishap is real, and China — the Philippines’ second-biggest trading partner — is seen as unstoppable despite the efforts of other countries’ militaries. With a string of reefs on which to base its military it’ll have the potential to better control shipping lanes, fishing grounds and unproven energy reserves, and cause environmental damage to a sea that’s famous for its pristine diving waters.

China has accelerated its reclamation, dumping sand to build airstrips on tiny rocks that may otherwise be submerged at high tide. It has built 1,500 acres of a total of 2,000 acres of land since December. Whatever the legal reality, China is building a case that these are now islands with structures, implying ownership.

China argues the reefs are within its sovereign terrain, and construction is needed to ensure navigational safety. It has said the reefs will be used for military as well as civilian purposes such as marine scientific research.

“China’s lawful, justified and reasonable construction on some garrisoned Nansha islands and reefs is well within China’s sovereignty,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said July 3, using China’s name for the disputed Spratlys.

China’s ships often nose close to Pagasa, sitting offshore for days within view of the island. Its coast guard boats chase Philippine fishermen. Fishing boats that are caught may have a near-empty hold, raising doubts among locals they are just there for the catch. And at night there is the winking of lights from the reefs.

“The big cranes have added to our worries,” said Jorge Misajon, 53, administrator of the Kalayaan municipality that includes Pagasa. “Our contingency plan is no longer confined to the evacuation of civilians. We’re training people to defend the island.”

Pagasa falls within the Spratly chain, contested in part by Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei, some of whom also build on reefs and islands. China’s claim covers roughly 80 percent of the South China Sea, including islands further north known as the Paracels. The Philippines is arguing its case against China’s claims at a United Nations Arbitral Tribunal in the Hague this week.

China has placed at least three buoys near the disputed Reed Bank about 280 kilometers northeast of Pagasa, Philippine Congressman Francisco Acedillo, a member of the House of Representatives foreign affairs committee, said by phone. “My hunch is they’re surveying for oil and natural gas,” said Acedillo, a former air force pilot.

For the residents of Pagasa, part of the anxiety stems from their sheer isolation.

While islanders get free food and housing to stay on the 37.2-hectare (372,000 square meter) isle, when Dalabajan first arrived there was no Philippine mobile phone service. Wireless Internet is shared between the civilian and military population, with times allocated for each group.

The tensions have brought changes to the relationship between fishermen and businessmen in the area.

Chinese traders and fishermen used to come to Pagasa to hawk their goods or seek shelter in bad weather, according to Misajon. In recent years a Chinese ship towed a Philippine fishing boat out of the Second Thomas Shoal while it was seeking shelter from a storm, and Chinese fishermen were caught illegally catching clams on the Pagasa shore, he said.

For Kalayaan municipality officer Joey Rabanal, 28, the boat journey between Pagasa and the nearest city, Palawan’s capital of Puerto Princesa, brings the risk of Chinese encounters. His last major run-in was about a year ago.

Around 7 p.m. on a stormy night, Rabanal said, a 21-meter fishing boat he’d hired was blocked by a Chinese coastguard ship five times its size as it headed for Pagasa. The vessel sat for about an hour, shining floodlights and sounding a horn.

The Filipino captain steered into shallower waters where the Chinese ship couldn’t follow. The coast guard boat stayed nearby, and was later joined by another vessel.

“In the morning, we could see them circling the reef like sharks looking for something to eat for breakfast,” said Rabanal. “Nobody would know if they do something, they have bigger guns. Anything is possible, especially when it’s the middle of the ocean.”

The Philippine navy is no match for China, said Misajon, echoing the locals, fishermen and government officials interviewed by Bloomberg. Chinese forces have tried many times to block boats bringing food and building supplies to Pagasa, he said.

While the U.S. and Japan each conducted military drills with the Philippines off the coast of Palawan in June, the soldiers from Pagasa weren’t involved. The navy should send those who have trained with foreign forces to the island, said Misajon.

The Philippines needs about 990 billion pesos ($22 billion) up to 2028 to build a “minimum credible defense posture,” armed forces spokesman Brigadier General Joselito Kakilala said by phone.

Tensions in the sea are shadowed by the unease felt by fishermen in the coastal village of Macarascas near Ulugan Bay, a picturesque cove 160 kilometers from the Spratlys that the Philippine military is transforming into a major naval base.

The 1,500 residents of Macarascas aren’t renovating their homes in case they’re relocated to give way to the expanded base, says resident Jonalyn Martinez. Wooden stilts holding up the 37-year-old’s home among the mangrove trees are rotting, and the tin roof doesn’t keep water out when it rains.

“It’s painful because we’ve lived here all our lives,” said fisherman Ronald Colendres, 35. For Colendres, who earns as little as 500 pesos ($11) a day, moving away from the bay would leave him and his family without a source of income.

Chinese activities in the waters are causing environmental damage to Palawan and its dredging may impact fish larvae. The destruction of coral reef systems could lead to economic losses of about $280 million each year to coastal states, the Philippine foreign affairs department said in June.

There’s been a rise in Chinese poachers, who make up about 60 percent of fishermen caught hunting marine life including endangered turtles, according to the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development.

“They say that West Philippine Sea is China Sea, so they can fish anytime there, that’s what emboldens them,” said Adelina Benavente-Villena, chief of staff at the council, who learned Chinese to help her nab poachers.

“The threat is not only the invasion or possible use of force, but the environmental security.”

_ With assistance from David Tweed in Hong Kong and Clarissa Batino in Manila.