Background Briefing: November 20, 2018


The Lawyer Who Won a Stay to Block Trump’s Asylum Policy

We begin with a federal judge today temporarily blocking the Trump Administration from denying asylum to immigrants who cross the border at places not designated as official points of entry into the United States. Lee Gelernt, the Deputy Director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project who successfully argued the case for the ACLU on behalf of the immigrants before U.S. District Judge John Tigar in San Francisco, joins us to discuss the fate of the 70,000 people per year who claim asylum after crossing the border illegally. In addition we assess the chances of the migrants from Central America heading north through Mexico gaining entry even if they show up at the 48 designated points of entry. And with 3,000 Central Americans from the caravans having arrived already in Tijuana, we will assess how long the migrants will have to wait in an increasingly inhospitable border town given the long backlog, and how much Trump’s order to deny migrants the right to apply for asylum based on the manner of their entry places people’s lives in danger. And what happens to those who are denied asylum since most of the migrants are refugees from Central America escaping gang violence and corrupt governments in collusion with narco-traffickers.

What is Behind the Crash of Tech Stocks

Then we examine the plunge in the stock markets as tech stocks take a beating with five tech giants – Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet, Apple and Netflix losing more than $800 billion in market value since August and speak with economist Dean Baker the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research who writes the popular economics blog “Beat the Press”. He joins us to discuss the president’s bizarre explanation for the stock market’s decline which Trump blames on Democrats, tweeting “The prospect of Presidential Harassment by the Dems is causing the Stock Market big headaches!”  We will look into reasoned concerns that Trump’s trade policies and Federal Reserve tightening along with a global slowdown which is now reaching the U.S., are the real problems.


Could a Representative of Putin’s Criminal Regime Become the Head of Interpol?

Then finally we  go to London to speak with Bill Browder, who was the largest foreign investor in Russia until he fell afoul of Putin, about the very real possibility that a Putin crony, Alexander Prokopchuk, could be voted in tomorrow by the 192 member countries of Interpol as the international police agency’s new head. With Putin having already tried seven times through Prokopchuk to have Browder arrested and extradited to Russia, a country in which the police do not fight organized crime but rather collude and cooperate with it, the prospect of a representative of a criminal regime being the world’s policemen is indeed Kafkaesque.