The Note's Must-Reads for Friday, August 19, 2011

The Note's Must-Reads are a round-up of today's political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here at

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associates Jayce Henderson, Jacqueline Fernandez and Desk Assistant Amanda VanAllen

PRESIDENT OBAMA / IMMIGRATION: ABC News’ Devin Dwyer: “ Obama Administration Curtails Deportations of Non-Criminal Immigrants” The Obama administration today announced it will no longer actively seek to deport illegal immigrants who don’t have criminal records and that it will review all existing deportation cases involving non-criminal immigrants on a case-by-case basis. The news follows months of intense pressure from immigrant advocates who had urged the president to use his administrative authority to refocus the government's limited law enforcement resources while congressional gridlock over a comprehensive immigration system overhaul persists. LINK

The Hills’ Mike Lillis: “ Dems cheer Obama’s more lenient rules on illegal immigrants” Democrats in both chambers are cheering Thursday after the Obama administration unveiled more lenient rules surrounding the deportation of illegal immigrants. The changes — announced by the Department of Homeland Security — will allow many illegal immigrants to remain in the country and apply for work permits. LINK

Bloomberg's Margaret Talev: " Obama’s Education Secretary Duncan Says Perry’s Texas Schools Left Behind" U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Texas’s school system “has really struggled” under Governor Rick Perry, a Republican candidate for president, and the state’s substandard schools do a disservice to children. “Far too few of their high school graduates are actually prepared to go on to college,” Duncan said on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital With Al Hunt” airing tonight and tomorrow. “I feel very, very badly for the children there.” LINK

SYRIA: The New York Times’ Steven Lee Myers: “ U.S. and Allies Say Syria Leader Must Step Down” The United States and several of its major allies on Thursday called on Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, to give up power. The carefully choreographed announcements came after months of popular protests and increasingly deadly reprisals that the United Nations commissioner for human rights said amounted to crimes against humanity by the Syrian authorities. LINK

New York Daily News’ Alison Gendar and Larry McShance: “ President Obama to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad: Quit for the sake of your people” President Obama, in a sharply-worded statement, condemned the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and called Thursday for his resignation. "For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside," the president said in a lengthy statement. LINK

2012 ELECTIONS: The Washington Post’s Rosalind Helderman: “ Democrats’ road tour strikes back at GOP’s stand against raising taxes” On Wednesday morning, as his tinted black bus pulled into Randy Hultgren’s congressional district, President Obama told residents that Republicans like Hultgren must be willing to raise taxes to reduce the deficit. LINK

The Washington Times’ Seth McLaughlin: “ Second time’s the charm as Paul learns from ’08 bid” While other candidates are dominating headlines in the Republican presidential campaign, Ron Paul is quietly commanding a campaign that’s showing a level of maturity in fundraising and performance that was lacking four years ago. LINK

Politico's Kenneth P. Vogel and Lucy McCalmont: " Rick Perry’s gifts: Boots, trips, medical exams" Cowboy boots — 22 pairs. Stetson hats. Belt buckles. Cuff links. A TV. Medical tests for him and his wife. Nine hunting trips. Dozens of tickets to sports games and concerts. Rick Perry earns a $150,000 annual salary and has a blind trust. But he’s also received over 90 personal gifts — many of them from top donors and political appointees — during his 11 years as Texas governor, according to personal financial statements he filed with the state. LINK

Los Angeles Times’ Michael Muskal: “ Rep. Maxine Waters says it's time for Obama to fight” As far as Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) in concerned, it is time for President Obama to get tough with Republicans and put together proposals that help the poor and especially the hard-hit African American community. Speaking at a job fair in Atlanta on Thursday, the fiery Waters said there was rising unhappiness in the African American community with the nation’s first black president. LINK

USA Todays’ Fredreka Schouten: “ Obama outpaces fundraising activity of predecessors” President Obama has headlined 127 fundraising events for himself and others, significantly outpacing the fundraising activity of the previous five presidents during their first terms, new research obtained by USA TODAY shows. By comparison, President George W. Bush had held 88 fundraisers and President Clinton, 76, at this point in their first terms, according to data compiled by Brendan Doherty, an assistant professor of politicial science at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Doherty, who also studies presidential activity with the non-partisan White HouseTransition Project, examined fundraising going back to President Carter. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS: Perry Faces Kid's Evolution QuestionLINK Margaret Hoover: GOP Must Make Inroads with MillenialsLINK

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