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Vox Sentences: Trump wants asylum seekers to pay up

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Trump is trying to make seeking asylum even harder; the leader of ISIS resurfaces after rumors of his death.

Trump cracks down on asylum seekers

John Moore/Getty Images
  • President Trump has introduced a new set of regulations for asylum seekers in hopes that it will discourage them from coming to the United States. [Washington Post / Maria Sacchetti, Felicia Sonmez, and Nick Miroff]
  • Some of the most controversial restrictions include charging a fee for asylum applications and delaying the approval of work permits. Trump also wants immigration courts to issue rulings for asylum cases in 180 days, although the courts are already heavily backlogged. [USA Today / Alan Gomez]
  • This would make it more difficult for asylum seekers to apply for asylum and to stay in the United States as they wait for their case to be heard. [CNN / Priscilla Alvarez]
  • Trump has given the departments of Justice and Homeland Security 90 days to draw up a set of regulations that will implement his orders. [Reuters / Yeganeh Torbati and Mica Rosenberg]
  • The reality, however, is that it will be months until any changes go into effect because they will have to clear a formal regulatory process. It’s also notable that every immigration policy introduced by the Trump administration has been challenged in court. [Vox / Dara Lind]
  • But these new regulations do indicate an even more hardline approach to immigration following the purge of DHS officials, including Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. [AP / Jill Colvin]
  • With Stephen Miller, Trump’s top immigration adviser, now pushing for a tougher crackdown at the border, some think this could be just the beginning of a new wave of aggressive immigration policies. [NYT / Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Caitlin Dickerson]

The face of ISIS returns

  • ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released a new video Monday for the first time in five years, reminding the world that the terror group is still a very real threat. [BBC]
  • In the 18-minute video, Baghdadi is seated in a plain white room with a machine gun at his side. Throughout the clip, he praises the recent bombings in Sri Lanka, which ISIS has claimed responsibility for, and says that the group’s underground movement is expanding, despite having lost its territory to US-backed forces. [NPR / Merrit Kennedy]
  • Though Russia had claimed it killed the leader in an airstrike in 2017, this new video seems to put those rumors to rest. [New Yorker / Robin Wright]
  • Baghdadi usually relies on audio clips to relay his messages. This is the first time since 2014 since he has shown his face to the public, and the second video he’s ever released, and he looks to be in good health. [Reuters / Nayera Abdallah Mahmoud and Ali Abdelaty]
  • ISIS’s reign is not what is used to be. The terrorist organization that once controlled an area as large as Great Britain lost its final territorial holdout in March. [Vox / Jennifer Williams]
  • Yet Baghdadi’s message to the word is clear: ISIS is still a threat, he’s still in charge, and they will continue to launch attacks. Military officials estimate there are still about 15,000 to 30,000 ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria. [CNN / Bianca Britton and Hamdi Alkhanshali]
  • And because Baghdadi has been gone for so long, experts predict his reappearance will be a morale boost for these supporters. [NYT / Ben Hubbard]


  • The Indian army claims it found yeti footprints in the Himalayas. Photographs of the prints have now been passed on to the “scientific community” for verification. [NBC News/ Caroline Radnofsky and Nidhi Dutt]
  • A 10-year-old Indiana girl was treated at a hospital for a snake bite and released within 24 hours. Her bill: $143,000. [Ars Technica / Beth Mole]
  • Social media has a reputation for making people miserable. Instagram is testing to see if hiding the “like” counts will fix things. [BuzzFeed News / Ryan Mac and Nicole Nguyen]
  • The upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog live-action movie released its first trailer Tuesday, and people immediately fixated on the blue hedgehog’s rather terrifyingly human-like teeth. [CNN / A.J. Willingham]
  • The Obamas have finally released details about their projects with Netflix. Get ready for a feature film on Frederick Douglass, a series on healthy eating, and more. [Washington Post / Helena Andrews-Dyer]


“The entire idea of asylum is that it’s something that you need because you are fleeing some sort of violence or persecution, and to then say that it’s only accessible to people who can pay a fee doesn’t make sense.” [Michelle Brané, the director of migrant rights and justice at the Women’s Refugee Commission, on Trump’s new regulations for asylum seekers]

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