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Oh, sure, the Trump administration has been blocked by a federal court from putting its new restrictions on requesting asylum into place. The rules would ignore existing US immigration law, which explicitly states people can request asylum "whether or not" they cross the border at a port of entry. Judge Jon S. Tigar ruled Friday that yes, he really means it, explaining very patiently the government failed to show anything about Donald Trump's executive order was legal, so until there's a final decision, people still have the right to request asylum. BUMMER.

Let's back up for some background on the latest asylum fuckery, which is separate from the rules the court told Team Trump it can't enforce. This new awfulness leaked the day before Thanksgiving, in case you'd missed the announcement (also, as with so much Trump "policy," there was no actual announcement). Under current law, those who pass a screening for "credible fear" of harm in their home countries are allowed to live and work in the USA until their case is decided. Donald Trump doesn't like that; he calls it "catch and release," although some radicals consider it "due process," as if anyone but indicted Trump aides were entitled to such a thing. The new idea has the completely Trumpian name "Remain in Mexico," because it would make asylum-seekers remain in Mexico, you see? Trump probably thought of the name himself, because he's real smart.


The Washington Post reports US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) was already "sending teams of asylum officers from field offices in San Francisco, Washington, and Los Angeles to the ports of entry in the San Diego area" to put the new rules into effect.

Yes, before Mexico has even agreed to keep the people the US would be sending back across the border. Presumably, Trump will make Mexico accept them while Mexico pays for the wall, too.

As Vox's immigration expert Dara Lind explains, the "remain in Mexico" policy still isn't entirely worked out, and there's a hell of a lot of confusion about how it would work and whether it's even legal. Which of course means Trump wants it put in place immediately, whatever it is. And that's where the little administrative fuck-tussle between DOJ and DHS comes in, as Buzzfeed News reported Friday:

Department of Justice officials have been pushing for asylum-seekers at the border to be immediately returned to Mexico as they arrive at the border, instead of first undergoing screening for fear of persecution or torture if they are not allowed in.

Department of Homeland Security officials want asylum-seekers screened for persecution, torture, and fear before being immediately returned to Mexico, to ensure that there are no serious concerns for their safety in Mexico.

Deport people immediately before they open their fool mouths, or at least pretend to see if they have a "reasonable" (a higher bar than "credible") fear of persecution in Mexico? And then maybe deport 'em anyway, but at least we'll have notes. Which, given how things worked with the family separation policy, we'd then lose or destroy.

This may sound a bit familiar: It's like the old Bugs Bunny/Daffy Duck routine, only with live ammo, or at least tear gas.

A "Justice Department official" explained to Buzzfeed there was no real friction between the two agencies, heavens no, it's all just "a normal part of the process." Which no one has to tell the press any details about anyway. DHS had no comment at all.

As for the legality of returning people requesting asylum without any screening at all to determine whether they'd be sent back into peril, oh, look, that could be a real problem, Lind notes:

Aw, heck, it's only the Department of Justice. Since when has it ever been held back by "legal obligations"? Besides, everyone named Sessions Meatball, Trump, and Miller knows nobody who really deserves asylum is even applying, because how many Norwegians have asked for asylum? And as long as the Trump administration doesn't actually say what the "Remain in Mexico" policy is, interfering liberals and courts won't even be able to sue to stop it from happening, and this is America in 2018.

[Buzzfeed / WaPo / NPR / CNN / Vox]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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The producers of your favorite live-action Jack Chick pamphlet, "God's Not Dead" -- you know, the one where the Hercules dude plays an evil philosophy professor who tells all of his students on the first day that they are no longer allowed to believe in god? As all secular professors do? -- have come out with a thrilling new movie, all about how abortion is bad or whatever.

The movie tells the "true" story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic worker turned professional anti-choicer. Johnson has been a darling of the forced birth circuit ever since she made up ridiculous and provably false reasons for quitting the Planned Parenthood that was about to fire her for being bad at her job.

Basically, she claims that Planned Parenthood was pushing her to make more abortions happen so they could reel in more dough, and also that she witnessed (for the first time ever!) an ultrasound-guided abortion and saw the baby move from the light and then immediately realized that what she was doing was wrong.

The thing is, however -- no ultrasound-guided abortions were performed on the day she said it happened, and the only reason there was an uptick in abortions at her clinic was because they started offering the abortion pill on a daily basis (and had previously only been performing surgical abortions every other Saturday).

As you may have guessed, the movie does not address any of these things. It also looks very, very bad.

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Ever since Ruth Bader Ginsburg successfully underwent surgery for lung cancer, conservative sites and message boards have been trafficking in a ridiculous theory that she is actually dead and that there is some kind of Weekend at Bernie's-esque conspiracy to pretend she is still alive.

Now, one would think that her recent public appearance at a concert held in her honor would have put this to rest. Alas, it did not. Rather, the "researchers" (as they hilariously call themselves) determined that the concert was actually her funeral.

No. Really. That was a thing.

I admit that I gave this a lot more thought than I should have. Like, how did they think this would go? How long did they imagine this would go on for? Why would they risk having a full on funeral concert, open to the press? Wouldn't they just have not bothered to have a funeral at all? And what did these people think was going to happen when it was announced that she died for real? Or did they think that we were going to pretend that she is immortal and thus never announce her death? It's so confusing!

Being very up to date on the "RBG is secretly dead!" nonsense, I was very curious about which way the "anons" would go with this when they announced her return to work on Friday. They did not disappoint!

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