Stories by Stef W. Kight

Court ruling allows Trump asylum restrictions in Texas and New Mexico

An art exhibiton next to a section of the U.S.-Mexico border fence. Photo: Guillermo Arias/AFP/Getty Images

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that an earlier injunction on the Trump administration's third-country asylum rule, which barred migrants from asylum in the U.S. if they did not first apply for protection in a country they travelled through, can only be applied within the Ninth Circuit.

Why it matters: The Ninth Circuit is located along the West Coast and includes the U.S.-Mexico border states of California and Arizona. That means that this decision will effectively block — at least for now — most Central Americans who cross into the U.S., legally or illegally, in New Mexico or Texas from asylum.

The mass shooting news cycle is still short-lived

Data: Google; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Google searches about the El Paso shooting surged more than any other recent mass shooting — but the horror, outrage and interest toward the murder of innocent lives never seems to last long enough to provoke much change.

Why it matters: Mass shootings have become more common, but fading public interest relieves pressure on lawmakers to address the underlying issues.

Trump administration to penalize immigrants likely to use public benefits

A woman and her child fill out an application for food stamps.
A woman and her daugher fill out an application for food stamps. Photo: Rick Loomis/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A rule that would penalize immigrants who use or are likely to use public benefit programs such as food stamps, housing assistance or Medicaid will be published in the Federal Register on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The long-anticipated rule will make it much harder for immigrants with low incomes or low levels of education to obtain visas or green cards. It will also be much harder for immigrants already in the U.S. to stay longer, change their immigration status or become citizens if they have used any of the specified safety net programs.