"I Was Just Looking for Safety": Applying for Asylum in America

Here's what you'll find on today's show: — In 2016, around 180,000 people applied for asylum in the United States. The vast majority of them end up in immigration detention while their cases are being processed. And once they are released, many have nowhere to go and are left without resources. WNYC partnered with ProPublica to examine the asylum process in the United States, how and why it was developed, and where it currently stands today. Applying for asylum is far different than applying for refugee status, which Kavitha Surana, senior reporting fellow at ProPublica covering immigration, explains. — Randy Bryce is an iron worker looking to swing Wisconsin's first congressional district from red to blue. Thanks to his viral campaign videos and his "Ironstache" Twitter handle, Bryce has become a national liberal icon. The seat he's running for, currently occupied by Paul Ryan, became of national interest once the House speaker announced this month that he would not be seeking reelection next year. Ryan's exit is the most high-profile in a growing trend of congressional Republicans avoiding a midterm election in which many predict a "blue wave" of disaffected voters. — Over the weekend, President Trump suggested on Twitter that he was considering a full pardon for the late heavyweight boxing champ Jack Johnson. Johnson was born in 1878 in Galveston, Texas and rose to prominence in the boxing world, becoming the first black heavyweight champion in 1908, after defeating Tommy Burns. Johnson's defeat of Jim Jeffries, the "great white hope," in 1910, sparked violence driven by racism and white groups enraged by his success. In 1913, Johnson was arrested for driving across state lines with his white girlfriend. An all-white jury convicted him of violating the Mann Act, which was intended to stop human trafficking. He was sentenced to more than a year in prison, and ultimately, fled overseas where he continued fighting before eventually returning to the United States and serving out his time. — Hunter Harris, associate editor for Vulture, has loved Beyoncé for long time. Her mom, Yvonne Lewis, not so much. "I know that you love Beyoncé and I never could understand why, I never got it," Yvonne tells Hunter. But after Beyoncé's big showing at the music festival Coachella — so big people have taken to calling the event "Beychella" — Hunter called her mom in Tulsa from New York to talk about what the moment meant to each of them.

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