May 8, 2019

Appeals court allows Trump admin. to keep asylum seekers in Mexico

Central American migrants detained by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents on the border between El Paso, Texas. Photo: Herika Martinez/AFP/Getty Images

The San Francisco-based Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled that the Trump administration can, at least for now, continue to enforce its policy that requires some asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases are being processed.

Why it matters: This is a significant victory for the administration, whose immigration policies have been facing constant legal challenges as it grapples with the surge of migrant families coming across the border. A federal judge last month blocked the "remain in Mexico" policy while it has been challenged in court. Tuesday's ruling means that the government can continue the policy while it appeals the April 8th ruling and the court considers broader issues in the case.

Details: The policy is being challenged by 11 asylum seekers from Central America and legal advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union.

  • The ACLU said in a statement:
"Asylum seekers are being put at serious risk of harm every day that the forced return policy continues. Notably, two of the three judges that heard this request found that there are serious legal problems with what the government is doing, so there is good reason to believe that ultimately this policy will be put to a halt."

What they're saying: Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain, an appointee of former President Reagan, said the government will likely succeed.

  • He said the Department of Homeland Security could "suffer irreparable harm" if the court halts one of the "few congressionally authorized measures available to process the approximately 2,000 migrants who are currently arriving at the nation’s southern border on a daily basis."

The other two judges, appointed by Democratic presidents, voted to allow the policy to stay in effect. But they raised concerns about it.

Go deeper: Reality check: How the U.S. asylum process works

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 932,605 — Total deaths: 46,809 — Total recoveries: 193,177Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 213,372 — Total deaths: 4,757 — Total recoveries: 8,474Map.
  3. Business updates: Very small businesses are bearing the brunt of the coronavirus job crisis.
  4. World update: Spain’s confirmed cases surpassed 100,000, and the nation saw its biggest daily death toll so far. More than 500 people were reported dead within the last 24 hours in the U.K., per Johns Hopkins.
  5. State updates: Florida and Pennsylvania are the latest states to issue stay-at-home orders — Michigan has more than 9,000 confirmed cases, an increase of 1,200 and 78 new deaths in 24 hours.
  6. Stock market updates: Stocks closed more than 4% lower on Wednesday, continuing a volatile stretch for the stock market amid the coronavirus outbreak.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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World coronavirus updates: Spain's health care system overloaded

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Two planes with protective equipment arrived to restock Spain’s overloaded public health system on Wednesday as confirmed cases surpassed 100,000 and the nation saw its biggest death toll so far, Reuters reports.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 900,000 and the global death toll surpassed 45,000 early Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy has reported more than 12,000 deaths.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

FBI sees record number of gun background checks amid coronavirus

Guns on display at a store in Manassas, Va. Photo: Yasin Ozturk / Anadolu Agency via Getty

The FBI processed a record 3.7 million gun background checks in March — more than any month previously reported, according to the agency's latest data.

Driving the news: The spike's timing suggests it may be driven at least in part by the coronavirus.