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Detention center in Donna, Tex. in 2017. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Active-duty troops are monitoring migrants from inside a Border Patrol holding facility in Donna, Texas, to perform welfare or "wellness" checks, NBC reports.

Why it matters: According to a congressman and a former defense official interviewed by NBC, these stationed troops are potentially in danger of violating the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits the use of the military in civilian law enforcement.

What's happening: 4 defense officials — 2 current and 2 former — told NBC that the troops are stationed in Donna to perform wellness checks requested by Homeland Security last year. According to those officials, troops began those welfare checks earlier this summer.

  • These checks are reportedly intended to identify migrants' responsiveness and check for "signs of illness, any signs of violence, and signs of suspicious behavior," per NBC.
  • "The checks started with troops walking through the facility every 15 minutes, but troops now stand above the migrants and monitor them constantly," NBC reports.

What they're saying: Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) told NBC that having active duty troops supervise detained migrants is "teetering on the edge of the posse comitatus law."

  • A former defense official told NBC that if a service member responds to a fight, they'd play a different role than what is legally permitted under the Posse Comitatus Act, adding, "They should be way behind the fence of the border to help CBP."
  • John Cornelio, a spokesperson for the U.S. military's Northern Command, told NBC that, "In the event of a medical emergency or other reportable event, our military personnel immediately notify CBP personnel on-site who respond to the incident or event in question."

Go deeper: Trump administration sends 2,100 more troops to southern border

Go deeper

Police officers' immunity from lawsuits is getting a fresh look

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Nearly a year after the death of George Floyd, advocates of changes in police practices are launching new moves to limit or eliminate legal liability protections for officers accused of excessive force.

Why it matters: Revising or eliminating qualified immunity — the shield police officers have now — could force officers accused of excessive force to personally face civil penalties in addition to their departments. But such a change could intensify a nationwide police officer shortage, critics say. 

The U.S. coronavirus vaccines aren't all the same

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The U.S. now has three COVID-19 vaccines, and public health officials are quick — and careful — to say there’s no bad option. But their effectiveness, manufacturing and distribution vary.

Why it matters: Any of the authorized vaccines are much better than no vaccine, especially for people at high risk of severe coronavirus infections. But their differences may fuel perceptions of inequity, and raise legitimate questions about the best way to use each one.

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

The future of workplace benefits

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The pandemic exposed how workplaces across America are inhospitable to parents. But it could also spur companies to make changes.

The big picture: Well over a million parents have left their jobs due to child care responsibilities during the pandemic. Now, companies — large and small — are attempting to reimagine workplace benefits and add flexibility to help those parents come back.