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Mary Altaffer / AP

Tony James, president of The Blackstone Group, said in a media call this morning that his firm's new infrastructure investment effort will not be impacted by whether or not President Trump's promised $2 trillion infrastructure plan comes to fruition:

"We think that based on today's market conditions, today's regulations and today's market that there's a huge opportunity for the fund we're raising. There has been around $9 billion of opportunity we've been unable to action in just the past year, that would have gone into this fund."

Background: Blackstone announced in May that it is raising up to $40 billion for its debut infrastructure fund, including up to a $20 billion commitment from Saudi Arabia and up to $500 million from Blackstone itself. At the time, the White House was still talking about infrastructure as a viable 2017 priority — something that is longer operative. Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman also was chair of a CEO advisory council that has since disbanded, in the wake of Trump's comments about Charlottesville.

Timing: James says to expect a first close on the fund by the end of Q1 2018.

Go deeper

Biden confronts mounting humanitarian crisis at the border

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Pool/Getty Images     

Just over a month into his presidency, President Biden is staring down a mounting crisis at the border that could be just as bad as the ones faced by Barack Obama and Donald Trump, if not worse.

Why it matters: Immigration is an issue that can consume a presidency. It's intensely and poisonously partisan. It's complicated. And the lives and welfare of vulnerable children hang in the balance.

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1 hour ago - Economy & Business

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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Vaccine passports were touted early in the pandemic as an important piece of the plan to get people back to normal life. Now they’re becoming a reality.

Driving the news: CLEAR, the secure digital identity app that you see in airports around the world, and CommonPass, a health app that lets users securely access vaccination records and COVID test results, have joined forces.

"Vaccine tourism" stretches states' supplies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans who are highly motivated to get vaccinated are traveling across state lines after hearing about larger vaccine supplies or loopholes in sign-up systems.

Why it matters: "Vaccine tourism" raises ethical and legal questions, and could worsen the racial socioeconomic and racial inequalities of the pandemic.