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September 14, 2018

Let Me Count the Ways

Yes, youʼve heard about the family separations. Youʼve heard about the travel ban. But there are dozens of ways the Trump administration is cracking down on immigration across many agencies, sometimes in ways so small and technical it doesnʼt make headlines. This week, the quiet bureaucratic war that’s even targeting legal immigrants.

Names have been blurred to protect people’s identities.

Ira Glass / This American Life

Note: The internet version of this episode contains un-beeped curse words. BEEPED VERSION.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass goes to Tijuana, Mexico where people trying to come to the U.S. asking for asylum have devised a new way to keep track of their place in line.  (11 minutes)

Cindy Carcamo first wrote about this story for the Los Angeles Times.

Act Two

Kitchen Sink

All the little and not-so-little ways the Trump administration is tightening its scrutiny of immigrants. (9 minutes)

Act Three

The Terminators

A bunch of government emails recently came out as part of a class-action lawsuit. The emails show new appointees trying to roll back one particular part of immigration policy that could result in half a million people having to leave the United States. Producer Nadia Reiman takes us inside the world of these emails. (10 minutes)

Act Five

Why So Few

Refugee resettlement policy changed dramatically from the first week President Trump took office. In that first travel ban, the president halted the entire refugee resettlement program, until we could, in his words from the campaign, "Figure out what the hell is going on." Producer Zoe Chace has the story of the group tasked to figure out what the hell was going on, and why the number of refugees resettling is the lowest in the history of the program.