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Data: U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Chart: Axios Visuals

While the migrant crisis plaguing the Biden administration still pales in comparison to another peak under then-President Trump in 2019, the trends are alarming and only expected to get worse with warmer weather.

The big picture: The Biden administration is seeing a weekly average of about 500 unaccompanied children cross the southwest border every day, and it was able to return to Mexico just 10% of the migrant families who crossed illegally Saturday, according to government data provided to Axios.

Driving the news: If the average number of unaccompanied kids holds, there could be more than 15,000 crossing the border in March — more than the administration's projected peak of 13,000 in May, as Axios reported last month.

  • The Biden administration has continued to say they are using a public health order to return migrant families to Mexico, but the percentage of families expelled has steadily fallen.
  • Only 10% of the more than 1,800 families caught crossing the border Saturday were expelled under the order, according to documents leaked to Axios.
  • Administration officials have pointed to Mexico's limited capacity to take in families, especially those with young children. The administration also has chosen to not use a Trump-era policy and is allowing unaccompanied children to remain in the United States rather than expelling them.

By the numbers: Migration trends vary, but April and May have typically been peak months for migration because of milder weather.

  • During the 2014 crisis under President Obama, the number of unaccompanied children crossing the border did not surpass 8,000 until May, reaching a peak of 10,620 in June, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.
  • Just last month, there already were more than 9,000 unaccompanied kids apprehended by the Border Patrol — also surpassing every month of the crisis year of 2019, except May.

The other side: The Biden administration is avoiding 2019's never-before-seen levels of family migration — so far.

  • But February numbers more than doubled from the month before, even with officials quickly returning some families to Mexico.

The bottom line: The Biden administration is trying to address the problems through meetings with Mexico and Guatemala, hotel contracts, temporary overflow shelters, rolling back COVID-19 protocols and expedited migrant release.

  • The numbers continue to grow, however.

Go deeper

16 mins ago - Health

Student's death renews calls for schools to stock opioid overdose drug

Photo: Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

A Connecticut student's death has renewed calls for schools to stock and administer naloxone, a drug that can quickly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

Why it matters: U.S. drug overdose fatalities reached six figures in a 12-month period for the first time in November, and synthetic or natural opioids were the cause of a majority of the overdoses.

17 mins ago - Sports

Olympians avoiding COVID at all costs ahead of Beijing Games

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

10 days out from the Olympics, athletes around the world are battening down the hatches in hopes of making it to Beijing COVID-free.

Why it matters: The Beijing bubble — a closed-loop system meant to shut off the outside world entirely — is the strictest ever created for a global sporting event.

21 mins ago - World

DOJ's China Initiative under scrutiny as cases fall apart

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The tide of public opinion may be turning against the Justice Department's China Initiative, as more cases fall apart and more of the researchers charged are speaking out.

The big picture: Chinese government-linked economic and industrial espionage in the United States is a real concern, but the China Initiative's flaws may be overshadowing the problem it was intended to address.