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Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

2020 candidate Joe Biden is supporting a letter from undocumented immigrants who work as health care providers, asking the Supreme Court to consider their efforts fighting COVID-19 when it rules on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

What he's saying: The former vice president said in a statement Saturday if the Supreme Court upholds President Trump's termination of the program amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, it would leave a "gaping hole in our health care system that is liable to cost American lives."

  • He said the U.S. needs "every trained and qualified person we have fighting this virus," including the roughly 27,000 people working in hospitals and health care facilities across the country thanks to DACA protections. 
  • Biden said Dreamers, those protected from deportation by the order established during the Obama administration, "are Americans in every way that matters."
  • "We should never endanger or throw into question their ability to contribute to our nation, but to do so in a moment of national crisis is beyond misguided," he added.

The big picture: Trump sought in 2017 to end the DACA program, which defers deportation for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. But two federal appeals courts have blocked the effort and the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the case in June.

  • Biden's 2020 presidential rival Sen. Bernie Sanders pledged last month to "reinstate and expand the DACA program for the 1.8 million young people eligible and their parents."

Of note: Biden also cited COVID-19 last Monday as a reason for the Trump administration and other conservatives to drop the lawsuit they're supporting challenging the Affordable Care Act, which is due to be heard by the Supreme Court later this year.

The other side: The Justice Department has argued that just as then-President Obama used executive action to create DACA, the Trump administration has the discretion to end it.

Go deeper: Supreme Court weighs judicial role, human impact of ending DACA

Go deeper

Democrats drubbing Trumpless GOP on social media

Data: Twitter/CrowdTangle (Feb 24, 2021); Chart: Will Chase/Axios

In a swift reversal from 90 days ago, Democrats are now the ones with overpowering social media muscle and the ability to drive news.

The big picture: Former President Donald Trump’s digital exile and the reversal of national power has turned the tables on which party can keep a stranglehold on online conversation.

Here come Earmarks 2.0

DeLauro at a hearing in May 2020. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Appropriations Committee is preparing to announce details of a plan to restore a limited version of earmarks, which give lawmakers power to direct spending to their districts to pay for special projects.

Why it matters: A series of scandals involving members in both parties prompted a moratorium on earmarks in 2011. But Democrats argue it's worth the risk to bring them back because earmarks would increase their leverage to pass critical legislation with a narrow majority, especially infrastructure and spending bills.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
49 mins ago - Health

New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

New research is bolstering the case for delaying second doses of coronavirus vaccines.

Why it matters: Most vulnerable Americans remain unvaccinated heading into March, when experts predict the more infectious virus variant first found in the U.K. could become dominant in the U.S.