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Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in November. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has asked the public for input on how to prevent future administrations from separating families at the border, the agency announced on Thursday.

Why it matters: The Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy led to almost 4,000 children being separated from their parents from July 1, 2017, to Jan. 20, 2021. Many have been since been reunited with their families, but an estimated 1,443 children are still separated, per Axios' Oriana Gonzalez.

The big picture: In February, President Biden established the Task Force on the Reunification of Families to help reunite families. The task force has reunited 63 families, bringing the total of reunited children to 2,234.

  • An additional 280 migrant children have been identified since September and are now in process of being reunified with their familiars.

Details: The request will publish in the Federal Register on Friday and comments will be accepted for 30 days.

  • The feedback "will be used to help develop recommendations to President Biden" on how to prevent separating families at the border.

What they're saying: “It is unconscionable to separate children from their parents as a means to deter migration,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas, according to the press release.

  • "We have an obligation to reunite separated families and ensure this cruel practice never happens again,"Mayorkas added.

Go deeper

Dec 30, 2021 - Health

Fauci: Child COVID hospitalizations "avoidable" with vaccine

NIAID director Anthony Fauci on Thursday pleaded with parents to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19 to prevent "avoidable" hospitalization in an interview on NewsNation's "Morning in America."

Driving the news: "Virtually all, not 100% but close to that, of the children who are seriously ill in our hospitals from COVID-19 are children whose parents decided they did not want to vaccinate them," Fauci said, adding: "That is avoidable."

China builds its own movie empire

Expand chart
Data: Gower Street citing Comscore; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

China blocked all four of Disney's Marvel movies from being released in its theaters last year, a grim sign for U.S. film giants being squeezed out of the world's fastest-growing box office.

Why it matters: The Chinese Communist Party is using domestic films as a key conduit for mass messaging aimed at achieving political goals, leaving little room for foreign views.

Why 401(k) rollovers are so annoying

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If you happened to change jobs recently, you may have tried to transfer your retirement account from your former employer into an Individual Retirement Account or your new employer's 401(k) plan. If so, you probably encountered a bureaucratic gantlet — and you're not alone.

Why it matters: Kludgey processes around retirement account transfers result in people losing track of their funds, giving up important tax advantages, or otherwise disadvantaging themselves and being less prepared for retirement.