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Undocumented migrants waiting to be processed by U.S. Border Patrol on May 15 in McAllen, Tex. Photo: Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images

ACLU lawyers told a federal judge on Tuesday that 911 migrant children have been removed from their parents since last year's court reunification order for separated families, the Washington Post reports.

What's happening: The ACLU urged the judge to clarify when family separation should be allowed, as the organization claims children are being separated for "minor alleged offenses," including traffic violations. The ACLU also asked the federal judge to block the Trump administration from continuing to separate families, per its Tuesday press release.

The backdrop: Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan testified on July 18 that Customs and Border Protection can remove a child from their parent or legal guardian when:

  • The parent or legal guardian poses a danger to the child
  • Is otherwise unfit to care for the child
  • Has a criminal history
  • Has a communicable disease
  • Is transferred to a criminal detention setting for prosecution for a crime other than improper entry to the U.S.
  • CBP is unable to confirm that the adult is actually the parent or legal guardian
  • The child's safety is at risk

McAleenan testified last month that 1 to 3 family separations "occurred out of approximately 1,500 to 3,000 family members apprehended each day," per the Post. He added that separations occur “under very controlled circumstances.”

  • He testified that "DHS rarely detains accompanied children and their parents or legal guardians for longer than approximately twenty days."
  • In at least one case, a migrant child has been detained by CBP in one facility for weeks. That report included instances of sexual abuse and degrading language by CBP officers, as well as unsanitary and crowded conditions.

The big picture: The federal government has reported that nearly 3,000 children were forcibly separated from their families at the zenith of the "zero tolerance" policy. Federal officials said it could take 2 years for them to identify those children, as they review 47,000 who were referred to the Office of Refugee Resettlement and then discharged, per the NYT.

Go deeper: Thousands more migrant children may be separated than previously known

Go deeper

DOJ pressed to enforce Al Jazeera foreign agent ruling

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Justice Department is being pressed to enforce its own demand that the U.S. arm of Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera register as a foreign agent.

Why it matters: The launch of Al Jazeera's new right-of-center U.S. media venture, Rightly, has refocused attention on the media company's alleged links to Doha, and DOJ's efforts to crack down on media outlets viewed as foreign interest mouthpieces.

Poll: Immigration is America's most-polarizing issue

Data: The American Aspirations Index/Populace; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Immigration was found to be the most polarizing issue in America based on new polling from Populace.

Why it matters: Americans have surprisingly similar priorities for the U.S., but immigration stands out as one of the few issues with clear partisan differences. It underscores the challenge for advocates and lawmakers hoping to pass immigration reform in the coming weeks amid narrow margins in Congress.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Lawmakers hide behind AG's investigation as Cuomo lingers

A billboard outside Albany, N.Y. Photo: Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is politically wounded but not yet dead, several state lawmakers tell Axios.

The state of play: Most are holding their fire and punting to state Attorney General Letitia James' investigation into sexual harassment allegations. They expect the inquiry to be credible and thorough — and buy Cuomo badly needed breathing room.