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President Trump changed the conversation to immigration before the midterms. Brilliant or bust?



President Trump changed the conversation to immigration before the midterms Brilliant or bust

The answer to the question won’t be known until next Tuesday night. Logic tells me it’s a bust, but here’s the thing. Many of the President’s moves before the last election could be considered busts from a logical perspective and it all worked out well for him in the end. I’m not a betting lady, but if I were I’d put my money on the President’s uncanny ability to turn controversy into victory.

One thing is certain: most major news outlets are discussing birthright citizenship more than they’re discussing the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, the mail bomber, or President Trump’s “hateful” rhetoric.

When he first announced his candidacy, he did so by ruffling feathers instantly. By directly attacking illegal immigrants using language people weren’t accustomed to from a serious presidential candidate, he was declared by most analysts as a sideshow, not a serious candidate, or someone who would fade away in time. That didn’t happen. Once he secured the nomination, the media destroyed him over every new controversy that came out every week or so leading up to the election. They were handing the election to Hillary Clinton. That didn’t happen either.

But it isn’t the President who’s running in this election. It’s his agenda and the ability to fulfill it. Some will argue that the immigration debate will not be beneficial to Republican House candidates in areas they need to win, but again I defer to his uncanny judgment on such things. He and his team are banking on Americans being concerned enough about spiking illegal immigration and violent migrant caravans. It’s a gamble, one that defies logic since many of the most competitive House races are far from the border.

I’ll say it a third time: I’m not ready to bet against President Trump’s election magic even if logic says I should.

Fan versus foil

One interesting takeaway on this is a tactic we haven’t seen from the President: offering a way for Republican candidates to differentiate themselves from the President. He is obsessed with loyalty, so much so that he’s put the wrong people in the wrong positions based solely on their perceived loyalty to him. That’s why it’s hard to imagine he was considering this when pushing out the birthright citizenship narrative, but let’s roll with it for a moment.

Candidates in blue districts are able to use this issue to present themselves as a foil to the President’s agenda. By coming out publicly opposed to ending birthright citizenship, GOP candidates in blue districts can show voters at this late stage that they’re willing to go against the President when they disagree with him.

Of course, this is an issue that can rally the President’s base for candidates in tough races in red districts. Those candidates will be able to point to the President lovingly and ask voters to help bring his full agenda forward.

Inspiring conservatives

If internal polling showed the President and his team that candidates in tough races aren’t getting enough support from conservatives to get them out to vote, this might be the move that reinvigorates them to vote Republican. He’s been travelling the country doing everything he can to get the base juiced up, but there are still conservative critics who are disappointed that there’s no wall, Obamacare is still intact, and/or Planned Parenthood is still alive and well.

The migrant caravan was looking like it could be the spark to reach these voters, but mainstream media and Democrats have done a fine job at minimizing the perceived threat they pose. Birthright citizenship is an evergreen topic; it doesn’t matter whether a voter fears the caravan or not. It’s a problem that truly needs a solution and now the President is offering them one.

If there’s a mistake being made here, it’s that he didn’t say he’d have to sign an executive order IF they lose the House. Perhaps he didn’t want to diminish the message by acknowledging an executive order would be weaker than legislation. Or he could be concerned challenges to legislation would be harder to overturn at the Supreme Court than challenges to an executive order. The other possibility is that he doesn’t think he would get legislation even if they retain the House, which based on Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s comments, may actually be the case.

Whatever motivated him to go down this path, he’s pulled the conversation back towards him from the opposite perspective than it was before. Instead of undecided voters getting pummeled by media reports that he’s to blame for violence and hatred by American citizens, they’re now saying he’s to blame for bigotry against illegal immigrants. That message suits him better even if it’s framed in a negative connotation.

Wait until Tuesday

The President understands how important it is for his agenda to keep going that they retain control of both chambers of Congress. It appears likely they’ll retain the Senate, though trends in some races are worrisome. The House is definitely in jeopardy.

The best thing Republicans can do at this point is follow the President’s lead on messaging and focus on illegal immigration. Tax cuts and healthcare are important, but the President chose to sprint to the finish line on birthright citizenship. Let’s do the same.

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Judge bars US from enforcing Trump asylum ban



Judge bars US from enforcing Trump asylum ban

HOUSTON (AP) — A federal judge barred the Trump administration on Monday from refusing asylum to immigrants who cross the southern border illegally.

U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar issued a temporary restraining order after hearing arguments in San Francisco. The request was made by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights, which quickly sued after President Donald Trump issued the ban this month in response to the caravans of migrants that have started to arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump issued a proclamation on Nov. 9 that said anyone who crossed the southern border would be ineligible for asylum. The regulations, which will remain in place for three months absent a court order, could potentially make it harder for thousands of people who enter the U.S. to avoid deportation.

“Individuals are entitled to asylum if they cross between ports of entry,” said Baher Azmy, a lawyer for the Center for Constitutional Rights. “It couldn’t be clearer.”

In recent years, tens of thousands of immigrants each year have shown up in the Arizona desert or on the north bank of the Rio Grande in Texas, surrendered to immigration agents and requested asylum. The Department of Homeland Security estimates around 70,000 people a year claim asylum between official ports of entry.

Trump has argued that the recent caravans are a threat to national security.

Around 3,000 people from the first of the caravans have arrived in Tijuana, Mexico, across the border from San Diego, California. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Monday that it closed off northbound traffic for several hours at the San Ysidro crossing. It has also installed movable, wire-topped barriers, apparently to stop a potential mass rush of people.

As of Monday, 107 people detained between official crossings have sought asylum since Trump’s order went into effect, according to DHS, which oversees Customs and Border Protection. Officials didn’t say whether those people’s cases were still progressing through other avenues left to them after the proclamation.

DHS has said it wants asylum seekers at the southern border to appear at an official border crossing. But many border crossings such as San Ysidro already have long wait times. People are often forced to wait in shelters or outdoor camps on the Mexican side, sometimes for weeks.

ACLU lawyer Lee Gelernt said that some people seeking asylum cross between official ports because “they’re in real danger,” either in their countries of origin or in Mexico.

“We don’t condone people entering between ports of entry, but Congress has made the decision that if they do, they still need to be allowed to apply for asylum,” he said.


Associated Press journalists Jill Colvin and Colleen Long in Washington contributed to this report.

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3 migrant caravan claims Jim Acosta made to President Trump that have been debunked… by the migrant caravans



3 migrant caravan claims Jim Acosta made to President Trump that have been debunked by the migrant c

CNN’s Jim Acosta has been at the center of the news cycle for 12 days. It’s not his reporting that landed him there. He’s the center of attention after the Secret Service suspended his hard pass to the White House. His pass is back and most seem to be moving on from the story. But something has been lost in the mix. The statements he made while badgering the President on November 7 were spoken with authority and certainty.

Less than two weeks later, all three of his claims have been proven wrong by the migrant caravans themselves.

“They’re hundred of miles away, though. They’re hundreds and hundreds of miles away.”

Around 3,000 migrants arrived in the last few days, doubling the total number of migrants waiting to be processed at the San Ysidro border crossing to 6000. Thousands more are expected in the coming days.

They certainly walked “hundreds and hundreds of miles” very quickly.

Tijuana border crossing shut as Mexicans protest against arrival of migrant caravan estimated 3,000 migrants have arrived in recent days in Tijuana, which sprawls into San Diego in southern California.

On Sunday several hundred Tijuana residents took to the streets to protest against the caravan, which set out from Honduras on October 13.

“Your campaign had an ad showing migrants climbing over walls and so on, but they’re not going to be doing that.”

A picture can say a thousand words, but in this case it only has to say two words to Acosta: “Wrong again.”

Migrants Climb Border Fence

“As you know, Mr. President, the caravan was not an invasion. It’s a group of migrants moving up from Central America towards the border with the U.S.”

How many criminals need to be among the migrants for it to be considered an invasion? 50? 100? 200?

How about 500?

Migrant caravan at US border is harboring more than 500 criminals, Homeland Security claims than 500 criminals are traveling with the migrant caravan that’s massed on the other side of a San Diego border crossing, homeland security officials said Monday afternoon.

The revelation was made during a conference call with reporters, with officials asserting that “most of the caravan members are not women and children”. They claimed the group is mostly made up of single adult or teen males and that the women and children have been pushed to the front of the line in a bid to garner sympathetic media coverage.

By now, any thinking person regardless of political ideology should realize Jim Acosta is an idiot. In the short time he held the mic at the press conference, he made three debunked statements. Journalists are supposed to expose the truth, not spread lies.

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Tijuana protesters chant ‘Out!’ at migrants camped in city



Tijuana protesters chant Out at migrants camped in city

TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — Hundreds of Tijuana residents congregated around a monument in an affluent section of the city south of California on Sunday to protest the thousands of Central American migrants who have arrived via caravan in hopes of a new life in the U.S.

Tensions have built as nearly 3,000 migrants from the caravan poured into Tijuana in recent days after more than a month on the road, and with many more months ahead of them while they seek asylum. The federal government estimates the number of migrants could soon swell to 10,000.

U.S. border inspectors are processing only about 100 asylum claims a day at Tijuana’s main crossing to San Diego. Asylum seekers register their names in a tattered notebook managed by migrants themselves that had more than 3,000 names even before the caravan arrived.

On Sunday, displeased Tijuana residents waved Mexican flags, sang the Mexican national anthem and chanted “Out! Out!” in front of a statue of the Aztec ruler Cuauhtemoc, 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) from the U.S. border. They accused the migrants of being messy, ungrateful and a danger to Tijuana. They also complained about how the caravan forced its way into Mexico, calling it an “invasion.” And they voiced worries that their taxes might be spent to care for the group.

“We don’t want them in Tijuana,” protesters shouted.

Juana Rodriguez, a housewife, said the government needs to conduct background checks on the migrants to make sure they don’t have criminal records.

A woman who gave her name as Paloma lambasted the migrants, who she said came to Mexico in search of handouts. “Let their government take care of them,” she told video reporters covering the protest.

A block away, fewer than a dozen Tijuana residents stood with signs of support for the migrants. Keila Samarron, a 38-year-old teacher, said the protesters don’t represent her way of thinking as she held a sign saying: Childhood has no borders.

Most of the migrants who have reached Tijuana via caravan in recent days set out more than a month ago from Honduras, a country of 9 million people. Dozens of migrants in the caravan who have been interviewed by Associated Press reporters have said they left their country after death threats.

But the journey has been hard, and many have turned around.

Alden Rivera, the Honduran ambassador in Mexico, told the AP on Saturday that 1,800 Hondurans have returned to their country since the caravan first set out on Oct. 13, and that he hopes more will make that decision. “We want them to return to Honduras,” said Rivera.

Honduras has a murder rate of 43 per 100,000 residents, similar to U.S. cities like New Orleans and Detroit. In addition to violence, migrants in the caravan have mentioned poor economic prospects as a motivator for their departures. Per capita income hovers around $120 a month in Honduras, where the World Bank says two out of three people live in poverty.

The migrants’ expected long stay in Tijuana has raised concerns about the ability of the border city of more than 1.6 million people to handle the influx.

While many in Tijuana are sympathetic to the migrants’ plight and trying to assist, some locals have shouted insults, hurled rocks and even thrown punches at them. The cold reception contrasts sharply with the warmth that accompanied the migrants in southern Mexico, where residents of small towns greeted them with hot food, campsites and even live music.

Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum has called the migrants’ arrival an “avalanche” that the city is ill-prepared to handle, calculating that they will be in Tijuana for at least six months as they wait to file asylum claims. Gastelum has appealed to the federal government for more assistance to cope with the influx.

Mexico’s Interior Ministry said Saturday that the federal government was flying in food and blankets for the migrants in Tijuana.

Tijuana officials converted a municipal gymnasium and recreational complex into a shelter to keep migrants out of public spaces. The city’s privately run shelters have a maximum capacity of 700. The municipal complex can hold up to 3,000.

At the municipal shelter, Josue Caseres, 24, expressed dismay at the protests against the caravan. “We are fleeing violence,” said the entertainer from Santa Barbara, Honduras. “How can they think we are going to come here to be violent?”

Some from the caravan have diverted to other border cities, such as Mexicali, a few hours to the east of Tijuana.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who sought to make the caravan a campaign issue in the midterm elections, used Twitter on Sunday to voice support for the mayor of Tijuana and try to discourage the migrants from seeking entry to the U.S.

Trump wrote that like Tijuana, “the U.S. is ill-prepared for this invasion, and will not stand for it. They are causing crime and big problems in Mexico. Go home!”

He followed that tweet by writing: “Catch and Release is an obsolete term. It is now Catch and Detain. Illegal Immigrants trying to come into the U.S.A., often proudly flying the flag of their nation as they ask for U.S. Asylum, will be detained or turned away.”


Guthrie reported from Mexico City. Associated Press writer Julie Watson contributed to this story from Tijuana.

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