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New Trump Proposal Would Force Thousands of Asylum Seekers to Apply for Refugee Status – in Guatemala

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The Trump administration is working on a proposal that would force thousands of asylum seekers currently at the Southern border to travel to Guatemala to seek refugee status.

In an exclusive report The American Prospect’s Marcia Brown and David Dayen explain the U.S. is effectively seeking to “outsource” asylum seekers to a “safe third country,” specifically, Guatemala.

The proposal could become finalized as early as Monday.

Key in the details is that this new program would render those seeking refuge “ineligible to apply for refugee status in the U.S.”

Democratic U.S Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon was asked to weigh in.

“The whole idea [is] that we can take people from Honduras and El Salvador and fly them to Guatemala, where they’re absolutely in worse shape, they don’t have friends or family or funds, so they’re much more vulnerable, so they’re going from desperation to desperation,” Sen. Merkley said.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee notes too that Guatemala is not a safe country:

Last month Trump hinted at the program:

On a related note, President Trump earlier Friday announced his ICE deportation raids will begin Sunday.

Image by Fibonacci Blue via Flickr and a CC license

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Listen Live: US Supreme Court Arguments in Case That Will Decide Future of Abortion in America

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The U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday morning will hear oral arguments in what will be a decisive case for the future of abortion in America.

Justices will hear arguments in the case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, over a Mississippi abortion ban designed to overturn the nearly 50-year old precedent-setting ruling in Roe v. Wade.

Listen live starting at 10 AM ET below via C-SPAN or a Reuters feed:

 

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Trump Tested Positive for COVID Days Before Biden Debate But Told No One, His Former Chief of Staff Says

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On Sept. 26, 2020, three days before his first debate with Joe Biden, then-President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 but told no one, according to his former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’ new book. Trump arrived “late” to the Sept. 29 debate and did not get tested before going on stage.

Trump, who was mildly symptomatic on Sept. 26 when he was first tested, did get tested again and obtained a negative test, but three days after the debate again tested positive and was quickly hospitalized – blaming Gold Star families who wanted to “hug” him for contracting the deadly disease.

“Meadows says Trump’s positive result on 26 September was a shock to a White House which had just staged a triumphant Rose Garden ceremony for supreme court nominee Amy Coney Barrett – an occasion now widely considered to have been a Covid super-spreader event‘” The Guardian reports.

As Marine One lifted off, heading for a rally on the 26th, the White House physician Sean Conley called.

“Stop the president from leaving,” Meadows says he told him. “He just tested positive for Covid.”

It wasn’t possible to stop Trump but when he called from Air Force One, his chief of staff gave him the news.

“Mr President,” Meadows said, “I’ve got some bad news. You’ve tested positive for Covid-19.”

Trump’s reply, the devout Christian writes, “rhyme[d] with ‘Oh spit, you’ve gotta be trucking lidding me’.”

The Guardian adds that “the stunning revelation of an unreported positive test follows a year of speculation about whether Trump, then 74 years old, had the potentially deadly virus when he faced Biden, 77, in Cleveland on 29 September – and what danger that might have presented.”

 

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Jan. 6 Committee Just Interviewed Top Georgia Elections Official Trump Threatened When Urging to Find Him More Votes

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The U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack has just concluded more than four hours of interviewing Georgia’s top elections official, Brad Raffensperger. Then-President Donald Trump threatened the Republican Secretary of State in a telephone call, parts of which were released to the press, during which the desperate losing Trump infamously said, “So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”

Speaking to Raffensperger indicates the House Committee is investigating the origins of the insurrection far beyond its D.C. roots.

“We talked about that and everything else leading into the election. That was their focus, because that was where the greatest disinformation was foisted upon our nation,” Raffensperger told The Atlanta Journal Constitution Tuesday.

Back in February Georgia prosecutors had reportedly opened up a criminal investigation into Trump’s demand Raffensperger find him 11,780 more votes. Despite the recorded audio evidence no charges are known to have been filed against Trump for what some say could be criminal solicitation to commit election fraud.

Trump called the Georgia Secretary of State nearly 20 times before the now-infamous call during which he threatened Raffensperger. On the 19th call Trump spoke to Raffensperger for nearly one hour. That call was recorded by Raffensperger’s staff.

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