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Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images

American Airlines, United Airlines, and Frontier Airlines have cautioned the Trump administration against using their planes to transport immigrant children separated from their families, repudiating Trump’s controversial “zero-tolerance” policy that has triggered widespread outrage.

The backdrop: The airlines’ requests come as Trump is expected to sign an executive order that would end his administration's family separation policy.

What they're saying:

"The family separation process that has been widely publicized is not at all aligned with the values of American Airlines — we bring families together, not apart. ... We have no desire to be associated with separating families, or worse, to profit from it. We have every expectation the government will comply with our request and we thank them for doing so."
— American in a statement.
"Based on our serious concerns about this policy and how it’s in deep conflict with our company’s values, we have contacted federal officials to inform them that they should not transport immigrant children on United aircraft who have been separated from their parents."
— United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz in a statement.
"Frontier prides itself on being a family airline and we will not knowingly allow our flights to be used to transport migrant children away from their families. At this time, we are not aware if Frontier has been used for this purpose."
— Frontier Airlines tweeted

The other side: Department of Homeland Security spokesman, Tyler Q. Houlton, responded to the airlines' statement in a tweet, writing, "It’s unfortunate that @AmericanAir , @united, and @FlyFrontier no longer want to partner with the brave men and women of DHS to protect the traveling public, combat human trafficking, and to swiftly reunite unaccompanied illegal immigrant children with their families."

  • He added in another tweet: "Despite being provided facts on this issue, these airlines clearly do not understand our immigration laws and the long-standing devastating loopholes that have caused the crisis at our southern border."

Go deeper: Here's what happens when families cross the border

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

U.S. surpasses 25 million COVID cases

A mass COVID-19 vaccination site at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 22 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The U.S has confirmed more than 25 million coronavirus cases, per Johns Hopkins data updated on Sunday.

The big picture: President Biden has said he expects the country's death toll to exceed 500,000 people by next month, as the rate of deaths due to the virus continues to escalate.

GOP implosion: Trump threats, payback

Spotted last week on a work van in Evansville, Ind. Photo: Sam Owens/The Evansville Courier & Press via Reuters

The GOP is getting torn apart by a spreading revolt against party leaders for failing to stand up for former President Trump and punish his critics.

Why it matters: Republican leaders suffered a nightmarish two months in Washington. Outside the nation’s capital, it's even worse.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
5 hours ago - Economy & Business

The limits of Biden's plan to cancel student debt

Data: New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax; Chart: Axios Visuals

There’s a growing consensus among Americans who want President Biden to cancel student debt — but addressing the ballooning debt burden is much more complicated than it seems.

Why it matters: Student debt is stopping millions of Americans from buying homes, buying cars and starting families. And the crisis is rapidly getting worse.