Biden’s Immigration Saga
Happy Tuesday! Declan apparently fell asleep at the keyboard overnight, so when your morning editors went to give today’s TMD a final scrub, this is all he had here for this morning’s opener: “It’s so nice having baseball back, even if it’s”
We’re not sure where he was going with that sentiment, but if history is any guide it was probably some Chicago sports reference. Unfortunately, we won’t know until tomorrow, but as a placeholder we offer you instead this assessment of the Windy city’s NFL franchise: “What went wrong for the Chicago Bears this historically bad season.”
Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories
- The Biden administration offered an equivocal response on Monday when asked about Sunday’s Wall Street Journal report indicating the Energy Department has shifted its assessment of COVID-19’s origins to conclude the virus most likely originated from a laboratory leak. “The intelligence community and the rest of the government is still looking at this,” White House spokesman John Kirby said. “There’s not been a definitive conclusion.” Officially, the intelligence community remains split on the virus’ provenance: The FBI and DOE believe it came from a lab, four other agencies and a national intelligence panel believe it was the result of natural transmission, and two additional agencies are still undecided.
- The Canadian government announced yesterday that, starting today, it would prohibit officials and staffers from having or downloading TikTok on any government-issued phones or devices, as the app presents “an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security.” The move comes days after the European Commission made a similar announcement.
- A second batch of documents supporting Dominion Voting System’s motion for summary judgment in its defamation lawsuit against Fox News was released on Monday, highlighting deposition comments made by Rupert Murdoch—chair of Fox News’ parent company—that seemed to acknowledge several Fox commentators promoted false claims about the 2020 election, and that he could have stopped them if he wanted to. “I would have liked us to be stronger in denouncing it in hindsight,” Murdoch said, acknowledging that Fox was “uniquely positioned to state the message that the election was not stolen.”
- Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan formally announced Monday she is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow. Reps. Bill Huizinga and Lisa McClain—and former Rep. Peter Meijer—have been discussed as possible candidates on the Republican side, but have not officially jumped into the fray.
The Return of the “Transit Ban”
Every morning at 9 a.m. ET, migrants staying in shelters, hotels, and encampments just south of the U.S.-Mexico border unlock their phones and compete for appointment slots released via a border control app, fighting error messages and app crashes in a process some immigration advocates have taken to calling Ticketmaster for immigration. Those with faster WiFi have better luck, as do people traveling alone. Some families, unable to snag appointments for everyone, have split up to cross the border and apply for asylum separately.
A glitchy border app is just one of the new hurdles migrants face as President Joe Biden changes immigration processes to prepare for the end in May of Title 42—a Trump-era policy allowing officials to quickly expel most migrants—when the public health emergency it relies on expires. The latest update—a proposed rule published last week and scheduled to last two years once enacted—mirrors a Trump-era policy by requiring most asylum applicants to prove they’ve been denied refuge elsewhere.