Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen doubled down Monday on her defense of the Trump administration's extremely controversial policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border, and put the onus on Congress to take action.

“Congress and the courts created this problem and Congress alone can fix it."
The big quotes

... from Nielsen on immigration:

  • "DHS will faithfully execute the laws enacted by Congress, as we are sworn to do."
  • “Parents who entered illegally are by definition criminals ... by entering our country illegally often in dangerous circumstances, illegal immigrants have put their children at risk."
  • "The kids are being used as pawns by the smugglers and the traffickers."
  • "I find that offensive," in response to a suggestion that the policy is being used as a deterrent.
  • Despite several critics condemning the policy as "cruel" and "immoral," Nielsen maintained that: "We are a country of compassion. We are a country of heart."
  • "Since this time last year, there has been a 325% increase in unaccompanied alien children and a 435% increase in family units entering the country illegally."
Other issues

... Addressed by Press Secretary Sarah Sanders

  • Which immigration bill does Trump support? "There are currently two bills in process in the House. The president supports both those pieces of legislations (Bob Goodlatte's conservative bill and Paul Ryan's more moderate bill)."
  • Does Trump support a standalone bill fixing the child separation policy? Sanders said Trump wants a "comprehensive" bill. "We want to fix the entire system. We don't want to just tinker with it."
  • On Evangelical Christians opposing the policy: "Any church that feels strongly should open up their doors and facilitate some of these individuals." Sanders also encouraged them to call their members of Congress.
  • Whether Sanders is leaving the White House: Sanders said she was "falsely accused" of not wanting to be at the briefing.

Go deeper: Nielsen vs. the media on child separation

Go deeper

Ex-officer pleads not guilty to charges related to Breonna Taylor killing

Brett Hankison is charged with three counts of wanton endangerment. Photo: Courtesy by the Shelby County Sherrif's Department

The former Louisville police officer charged with three counts of wanton endangerment in connection with the raid that led to the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, an unarmed Black woman, pleaded "not guilty" on Monday, the Courier Journal reports.

The big picture: The announcement of charges against Brett Hankison, who was fired from the department in June, set off nationwide protests last week. None of the officers involved in the raid were indicted on homicide or manslaughter charges related to Taylor's death.

SurveyMonkey poll: Trump's Ohio bet

Data: SurveyMonkey survey of 3,092 Ohio voters, Sept. 1-25, 2020; Note: COVID-19 was a write-in option; Chart: Axios Visuals

President Trump leads Joe Biden 51%-47% among likely Ohio voters overall — but he holds a whopping 74%-24% lead with those who say a flagging economy and job concerns are their top issue, according to new SurveyMonkey-Tableau data for Axios.

Why it matters: Ohioans are more worried about their jobs than the coronavirus — and that's President Trump's best chance to cling to a narrow lead in this state he won handily in 2016.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 33,224,222 — Total deaths: 999,298 — Total recoveries: 22,975,298Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 7,134,874 — Total deaths: 204,905 — Total recoveries: 2,766,280 — Total tests: 101,308,599Map.
  3. States: Cuomo extends New York moratorium on evictions until 2021.
  4. Business: Companies are still holding back earnings guidance.
  5. Health: Trump announces plan to distribute 150 million rapid tests —The childless vaccine.
  6. World: India the second country after U.S. to hit 6 million cases.