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President Biden outside of the White House on March 16. Photo: Erin Scott/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden during an interview with ABC News on Tuesday told people from Central America to stay in their "town or city or community" instead of coming to the United States, adding, "I can say quite clearly: Don't come over."

Why it matters: The Biden administration is facing a worsening humanitarian crisis at the southern border, with the country on-pace to encounter more people at the U.S.-Mexico border "than we have in the last 20 years," according to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

What he's saying: Asked if his administration should have anticipated a surge of migrants attempting to cross into the U.S., Biden said: "First of all, there was a surge in the last two years," though he acknowledged that this one "could be" worse.

The big picture: The Biden administration reopened an overflow shelter in Carrizo Springs, Texas for unaccompanied migrant children and plans to use the downtown Dallas convention center to house up to 3,000 migrant teenagers, according to AP.

  • The president said he opposes reopening a controversial child migrant shelter in Florida that's been run by a for-profit company, people familiar with the matter told Axios.
  • Axios previously reported that Biden was briefed on the need for 20,000 additional beds to shelter the children expected to arrive at the border this year.

Republicans have criticized the Biden administration for refusing to call the surge a "crisis" and for ending Trump-era policies that they believe would have prevented the uptick in migrant children crossing the U.S. border.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 4 hours ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Teens and adults missed 37 million vaccinations during COVID — Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker