The Senate Can (but Probably Won’t) Fill the Gaps in the Case for a Ukraine Quid Pro Quo

“While these facts are pretty damning, open-minded senators (assuming any exist) would be interested in further exploring Trump’s motives by examining relevant documents and hearing from officials (such as Mulvaney and former National Security Adviser John Bolton) who directly interacted with the president before, during, and after the aid freeze. Maybe the inferences that Sondland and other underlings drew about Trump’s reason for blocking the money were mistaken. Maybe Trump’s after-the-fact explanations, however implausible they might seem, are true. But unless several Republican senators side with Democrats in seeking additional evidence, those crucial questions will remain unanswered during Trump’s trial.”

Trump says most asylum seekers don’t show up for their court hearings. A new study says 99% do.

“About 99 percent of asylum seekers who were not detained or who were previously released from immigration custody showed up for their hearings over the last year, according to new data from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, a think tank that tracks data in the immigration courts.

Studies from previous years have also disproven the idea that most migrants will choose to live in the US without authorization rather than see their immigration cases through. But it’s nevertheless a central idea in Trump’s immigration policies, including those that aim to keep migrants in Mexico rather than letting them walk free in the US.”

“Data from the DOJ suggests that the rate at which migrants overall show up for their immigration court proceedings is lower than the rate TRAC cites. In 2018, the most recent year for which data is available, about 75 percent of migrants showed up for their court hearings in 2018 — similar to rates over the previous five years. The DOJ has also reported that the number of migrants and asylum seekers who fail to show up for their hearings is on the rise.”

“There are comparatively low-cost alternatives to keeping immigrants in detention or sending them abroad, including the now-defunct Obama-era Family Case Management Program. Under that program, which Trump ended in June 2017, families were released and assigned to social workers who aided them in finding attorneys and accommodation and ensured that they showed up for their court hearings.

The program was small in scale, with no more than 1,600 people enrolled at any one time, but appeared to be successful in ensuring that 99 percent of participants showed up for their court appearances and ICE check-ins.”