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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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Y'all saw that crazy shit that happened at the White House today when Chuck 'n' Nancy went to visit Trump to talk about averting a government shutdown, and Chuck 'n' Nancy ended up playing foosball with Trump's face while he screamed "WALL!" over and over again? It was so great.

During the meeting, Trump interrupted Pelosi a whole lot, and she responded by not giving a fuck and making fun of him to his face about how all she does is win, while Trump was left to whine about how nobody ever talks about how "he" won the Senate for the GOP. (The Senate election schedule, which heavily favored Republicans in the 2018 midterms, won the Senate for the GOP.)

When Pelosi walked out of the White House, she looked like some kinda badass spy walking away at the perfect moment, right before the building explodes. (We are not saying Nancy Pelosi blowed up the White House! OK fine, she did it WITH VOTES.)

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James Alex Fields mugshot

This morning, after spending Monday hearing victim impact statements, the jury in James Alex Fields's trial -- which on Friday found him guilty on all 10 counts he was charged with -- delivered their sentencing recommendations.

For the murder of Heather Heyer, the Charlottesville jury gave Fields a life sentence and a fine of $100,000. For each of the three charges of aggravated malicious wounding, they sentenced him to 70 years and fines of $70,000. For each of the five charges of malicious wounding, 20 years in prison and fines of $10,000, and nine years for the hit and run. All in all, this comes out to a life sentence plus 419 years and $480,000. Judge Richard Moore accepted the jury's verdicts, but will hold off on officially sentencing Fields until March 19.

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