Newsletter: Today: When ICE Knocks on Doors. The Lakers Need a Magic Act.

Donald Trump
President Trump speaks in Washington on Tuesday.
(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

I’m Davan Maharaj, editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines I don’t want you to miss today.

TOP STORIES

When ICE Knocks on Doors. Millions of Doors?

With a pair of memos, the Trump administration has removed nearly all restrictions on potentially deporting the 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally. Though Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly says immigration officers should focus first on those with criminal backgrounds, the new directives could ensnare others. It’s unclear what will happen with the Dreamer kids, and some efforts, such as hiring 10,000 more immigration enforcement officers and 5,000 Border Patrol agents, will take time. The crackdown also is putting a new focus on the ruses ICE agents have used for years when they come knocking on the door.

An image from an ICE operation in Los Angeles last week.
An image from an ICE operation in Los Angeles last week.
(Michael Johnson / U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

South of the Border, the President’s Men Will Have to Explain Deportations

Kelly and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are heading to Mexico City today for high-stakes talks with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and others. The discussions will encompass , including trade, border security and what will happen with deportations. It’s expected that both sides will try to smooth over the sharp differences that have arisen thanks to President Trump’s rhetoric, though Mexican officials will have to walk a fine line so as to allay fears they’re being too soft.

More Politics

-- Under pressure for his reluctance to address a recent spike in anti-Semitic threats, President Trump finally condemned them in a speech.

-- New EPA chief Scott Pruitt tried to calm employees anxious about his longtime opposition to the agency, but he managed to rattle them more.

-- Commentator Milo Yiannopoulos resigned from his position at Breitbart News after making remarks that critics said endorsed pedophilia.

Unanswered Questions Over an Officer’s Death

Michael Christopher Mejia has been in trouble with the law over and over again. Authorities say that, about a week after completing his latest jail stint, Mejia killed his cousin, stole his car, then fatally shot a Whittier police officer and wounded another on Monday. Hours later, Whittier’s police chief blamed recent criminal justice reforms for setting Mejia free. But state corrections officials have since said those reforms — AB109 and Prop. 47 — didn’t shorten the length of Mejia’s time served. Still, it’s the latest flashpoint in whether the laws are working or failing.

California’s Thousands of Levees Face a Months-Long Test

Flooding hit parts of San Jose. Authorities kept a close eye on a dam outside Carson City in Nevada. Levees strained, including one near Manteca that farmers shored up when it started to leak. While Northern California deals with the immediate threats from the latest storms, officials are looking at the prospect of high waters at thousands of levees for months. Experts say substantially more needs to be spent — at least $20 billion — to secure the system.

Memo to Earvin: The Lakers Need a Magic Act.

He was Magic on the court. Will Earvin Johnson be magic as the Lakers’ new president of basketball operations? Johnson finds himself running the show after team boss Jeanie Buss fired general manager Mitch Kupchak and booted her brother, Jim Buss, from his post. It’s a big gamble all around, one that will probably hinge on the next GM, who is expected to be Kobe Bryant’s player agent. As columnist Bill Plaschke puts it: “Can the greatest Laker ever save the worst Lakers ever?”

CALIFORNIA

-- The U.S. attorney won’t file charges over the L.A. Unified School District’s bidding process that led to Apple providing an iPad to every student, teacher and administrator.

-- Los Angeles lawmakers want the LAPD to explore ways to put more cops on the streets.

-- Steve Lopez checks in on some students who want to get involved in the L.A. school board election.

-- Oroville is hoping a crisis at the nearby dam won’t cripple tourism in the area.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- Countdown to the Oscars: The producers of some of this year’s nominated films have some ideas on how to close Hollywood’s gender gap.

-- The two women who wrote “Balls,” an opera about Billie Jean King’s “Battle of the Sexes,” discuss their work.

-- Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis are having too much fun acting on Showtime’s “Billions.”

-- David Cassidy says he is suffering from memory loss due to dementia and will stop touring to focus on his personal life.

CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD

Neil Diamond sang “Song Sung Blue” and more when he appeared at L.A.’s Greek Theatre. The resulting TV special, “Love at the Greek,” aired 40 years ago this week.

NATION-WORLD

-- Supreme Court justices appeared split over whether the Constitution extends to a Mexican teenager who was shot across the border.

-- Islamic State extremists fired cluster bombs at Iraqi government forces stationed near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, killing at least one soldier.

-- An Israeli military tribunal sentenced a soldier to 18 months in jail for fatally shooting a Palestinian knife assailant who was lying wounded on the ground.

-- For Arab Americans in New York, it’s still tough to work out travel plans as the U.S. sorts out Trump’s ban.

-- A study says states that adopted laws allowing same-sex marriage saw an immediate decline in suicide attempts by gay, lesbian and bisexual high school students.

BUSINESS

-- Sexual harassment allegations at Uber are a warning for the tech industry and its “rock star” culture.

-- Toyota’s Torrance campus, which has its own helipads, swimming pool and data center among other amenities, is up for sale.

SPORTS

-- Grading the Lakers’ moves in the Jim Buss era. (Spoiler alert: It’s not a passing grade.)

-- Dylan Hernandez: Mayweather vs. McGregor? Sure, there’s too much money out there for it not to happen.

OPINION

-- Shoring up Trump’s shaky ship of state.

-- Can you calculate the value of an Oscar victory?

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- The broader implications of Trump’s attacks on the media. (The Atlantic)

-- What does academic research have to say about immigration and crime? (The Conversation)

-- Long before the competitive eating contests of today, there was the Great Eater of Kent. (Atlas Obscura)

ONLY IN L.A.

There’s nothing like a good book, especially when you find one in an unexpected place around L.A., such as a skateboard shop with a book nook, a pub with first-edition classics and a car wash with a sophisticated selection so you can read while you wait. There’s even a bar in Toluca Lake called Catcher in the Rye with a hardcover copy of … you guessed it.

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.

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For the record: Yesterday’s newsletter gave the wrong day for the incident in Whittier that resulted in the fatal shooting of a police officer. It was Monday, not Sunday.