Oct 29, 2018

Axios PM

L.A. Readers: You’re Invited! Join Axios tomorrow at UCLA for a lunchtime discussion on how tech, innovation and automation are changing the workplace.

  • We'll be hosting conversations with JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon along with Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, who will discuss their new joint venture, Quibi. RSVP here.
1 big thing: Asylum seekers vs. Trump

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump is pushing the Central American migrant caravan to turn around, warning the military will stop them.

  • "Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border. Please go back, you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!"
  • The Pentagon plans to send 5,200 troops to ports of entry on the United States-Mexico border in Texas, Arizona and California, Pentagon officials said this afternoon.

Reality check: Most of these migrants intend to pursue the "legal process" to enter the U.S., Axios' Stef Kight reports. They'll seek asylum.

  • Asylum-seekers must be on American soil and present themselves at a port of entry or to immigration officials in order to claim asylum.
  • They must prove persecution or fear of persecution in their home country due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or being a member of a particular social group.
  • They can apply for affirmative asylum by presenting themselves to immigration officials within one year of arriving in the U.S. They must first pass an initial "credible fear" interview, proving they are reasonably afraid of returning to their home country.
  • Immigrants can also apply for asylum defensively if they are arrested and placed in deportation proceedings.

Between the lines: The Trump administration is working to make the asylum process more difficult.

  • Only a quarter of all affirmative asylum applications were approved in the first three quarters of fiscal year 2018.
  • And more than 70% of Honduran, Salvadoran and Guatemalan asylum-seekers were denied defensive asylum in the U.S. between FY 2012 and FY 2017.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions has continued to increase scrutiny for asylum seekers, disqualifying those who claim domestic abuse or gang violence.

The bottom line: It will still be weeks before the caravan reaches a U.S. port of entry, but those migrants need to reach American soil in order to credibly and legally claim asylum in the U.S. And even after their journey, they face unfavorable odds of legally receiving asylum from the Trump administration.

Bonus: Pic du jour

Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images

Forensic investigators look over some of the wreckage of Lion Air Flight JT 610, which crashed shortly after take-off with 189 on board.

  • Between the lines: The crash is noteworthy for being the first to involve the Boeing 737 MAX, a more powerful and efficient version of the popular 737. The aircraft is already being used on trans-Atlantic routes, and more than 4,700 are on order worldwide.
2. What you missed
  1. Embattled German Chancellor Angela Merkel will not run for re-election in 2021 and will step down in December as chairwoman of her party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). Go deeper.
  2. Trump and the Trump Organization have been accused in a new federal lawsuit of using their name to encourage people to invest in alleged business scams, the New York Times reports.
  3. President Trump and first lady Melania Trump will travel to Pennsylvania tomorrow to "grieve with the Pittsburgh community" following Saturday's mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue.
  4. Former president and Georgia native Jimmy Carter has written a letter to Brian Kemp, the state's Republican nominee for governor, urging him resign as Georgia's secretary of state. Read the letter.
  5. Ride-hailing company Grab announced a $200 million strategic investment from Booking Holdings, which most people still know as Priceline. Go deeper.
3. 1 🚀 thing

The Parker Solar Probe has broken the record for the closest a human-made object has ever come to the sun, passing the 16.55 million mile marker at 1:04 p.m., Axios' Stef Kight reports.

  • Later this evening, the probe is expected to also break the record for the fastest spacecraft traveling relative to the Sun — faster than 153,454 miles per hour.
  • Both records had been held since 1976 by the German-American Helios 2 spacecraft.
  • The goal of the Parker Solar Probe is to shed insight on the inner workings of our closest star.