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‘Simply barbaric’: Trump administration proposes charging asylum fee for refugees fleeing violence and poverty

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“It’s an unprecedented weaponization of government fees.”

The Trump administration this coming week will formalize a proposal that could make it one of just four countries in the world that charge asylum-seekers for entry.

As the New York Times reported late Friday, the administration plans to publish in the Federal Register a proposal to require a $50 application fee for asylum-seekers as well as a $490 charge for work permits.

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“It’s an unprecedented weaponization of government fees,” Doug Rand of the immigrant assistance company Boundless Immigration told the Times.

Currently, the only countries in the world that charge asylum-seekers—who are often fleeing war, persecution, or violence in their home countries—are Iran, Fiji, and Australia.

Also included in the plan, proposed on Friday by Ken Cuccinnelli, head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), were significant increases in fees for renewal of DACA protections and citizenship.

Young people protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which is the subject of a Supreme Court case beginning Tuesday, will be required to pay $765 for renewal rather than $495.

Citizenship fees could go up 60 percent, from $725 to $1,170.

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Cuccinnelli claimed Friday that the charges are needed to help confront his agencies $1.3 billion deficit. By contrast, the total U.S. deficit approached $1 trillion in 2019 under President Donald Trump—yet the president has requested more spending on the military and his proposed border wall.

The immigrant rights group United We Dream denounced the plan to impose financial burdens of young undocumented immigrants and asylum-seekers as “outrageous.”

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“Charging an asylum application fee is simply barbaric,” added Daniel Altschuler of Make the Road Action.

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Matthew Soerens of the faith-based refugee aid group tweeted that if Cuccinnelli’s proposal goes into effect, the fee for U.S. citizenship will have gone up by more than $1,000 in two decades.

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The newly proposed fee “will actually be even more than $1,170, presuming that does not include a required biometrics fee,” Soerens added. “And none of these prices include paying an attorney, which can be thousands of dollars in some cases.”

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Dershowitz is running a ‘bizarro defense’ of Trump: Harvard Law colleague says ‘Alan is just completely wacko’

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Two of the most famous names associated with Harvard Law School had competing appearances on MSNBC on Friday.

It began when Alan Dershowitz, a professor emeritus, was interviewed MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber about his new role officially representing President Donald Trump during the Senate impeachment trial.

Dershowitz claimed that neither abuse of power nor obstruction of Congress count as "high crimes" under the constitution.

Professor Alan Dershowitz, who has also been associated with Harvard Law for five decades, was asked about Dershowitz's argument during an interview with Chris Hayes.

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Why was Lev Parnas wearing a ‘Presidential Service Badge’ awarded to troops who serve in the White House?

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Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman posted a fascinating update about a photo of impeachment figure Lev Parnas.

The photo shows Igor Fruman -- who, like Parnas, is under federal indictment -- sitting closely next to Rudy Giuliani and Parnas.

Haber said a source informed her that in the picture, Parnas can be seen wearing a "Presidential Service Badge," linking to the Wikipedia entry on the pin.

"The Presidential Service Badge (PSB) is an identification badge of the United States Armed Forces which is awarded to members of the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard as well as other members of the Uniformed Services, such as the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, who serve as full-time military staff to the President of the United States," Wikipedia explained.

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Trump’s big-money Florida fundraiser expected to bring in $10 million — from only 100 people

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President Donald Trump flew to Mar-a-Lago on Friday after receiving a formal summons from the U.S. Senate informing him of his impeachment trial.

The president will be attending a Friday evening campaign fundraiser.

The recipient of the money is Trump Victory, which is a joint fundraising committee set up by Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. and the Republican National Committee.

“Tonight’s Trump Victory fundraiser is expected to raise $10 million with approximately 100 people in attendance," the campaign told the White House pool reporter.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1218264289225728000

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