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Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

The Trump administration postponed a $13.5 million grant to house and support victims of human trafficking in September, NBC News reports.

Where it stands: A Department of Justice spokesperson told NBC that "the agency asked for the funds back from HUD and ... DOJ will now run the program itself." Noncitizens were newly listed as recipients for the grant on Sept. 4, just 5 days before the grant solicitation was delayed.

  • The 36-month program was pitched in August as a partnership between the DOJ and HUD. The grant was approved 2 years ago by various federal agencies, NBC reports.
  • The grant was "intended to support housing and supportive services for victims of sex and labor trafficking, including immediate emergency shelter and short-term housing of up to 24 months," per NBC, citing the project's notice of funding availability.

The big picture: Several federal efforts to combat human trafficking in the U.S. have slowed under the Trump administration, according to government data and human trafficking advocates, Axios' Stef Kight and Juliet Bartz report.

Background: The Trump administration has pointed at human trafficking along the southern border as a reason to build a wall, arguing that "Congress has a moral responsibility" to fund a wall to prevent human trafficking and deter illegal immigration.

Go deeper: Efforts to combat human trafficking slow under Trump

Go deeper

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The winners and losers of the pandemic holiday season

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic has upended Thanksgiving and the shopping season that the holiday kicks off, creating a new crop of economic winners and losers.

The big picture: Just as it has exacerbated inequality in every other facet of American life, the coronavirus pandemic is deepening inequities in the business world, with the biggest and most powerful companies rapidly outpacing the smaller players.

Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

The daily rate of new coronavirus infections rose by about 10 percent in the final week before Thanksgiving, continuing a dismal trend that may get even worse in the weeks to come.

Why it matters: Travel and large holiday celebrations are most dangerous in places where the virus is spreading widely — and right now, that includes the entire U.S.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions previously imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds the first significant action by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.