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U.S. Border Patrol agents conduct intake of illegal border crossers at the Central Processing Center on June 17, 2018 in McAllen, Texas. Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection via Getty Images

The Wall Street Journal's lead editorial warns today: "The GOP’s Immigration Meltdown ... Restrictionists may cost Republicans their majorities in Congress."

What we're hearing: Nevertheless, West Wing sources tell Axios that President Trump has shown little indication that he'll climb down from the zero-tolerance border policy that's separating thousands of children from their parents.

  • Trump meets with House Republicans this evening, and could be greeted with a standing ovation. (Remember, there are more conservatives than moderates.)
  • A Republican source close to leadership tells us: "Conservatives will pump Trump up. He’ll feed on that/play to them."
  • Trump can be expected to talk about family separation, and tell GOP lawmakers that they need to change the law to fix the problem. 

But Republican worries about the fallout are rising:

  • Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, who usually backs The White House, said this could be "Trump's Katrina."

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, facing a tougher than expected reelection race, yesterday introduced "Emergency Legislation to Keep Illegal Immigrant Families Together":

  • "All Americans are rightly horrified by the images we are seeing on the news, children in tears pulled away from their mothers and fathers," Cruz said. "This must stop. Now."
  • Cruz's plan would create new temporary shelters to keep families intact, fund new immigration judges, guarantee a review by an immigration judge within 72 hours, and return those denied asylum to their home countries within 14 days.

Breaking ... A letter to be released this morning by a bipartisan group of 72 former U.S. attorneys (starting with New York's Preet Bharara) calls on Attorney General Jeff Sessions "to announce that this policy was ill-conceived and that its consequences and cost are too drastic":

  • "[Y]our Zero Tolerance policy has produced a tragic and unsustainable result, without taking into account each family’s specific circumstances."
  • "The law does not require the systematic separation of families under these circumstances. Collectively, as former United States Attorneys, we have prosecuted tens of thousands of cases involving far more serious crimes than misdemeanor illegal entry offenses."
  • "And even in those far more serious cases, decisions involving the separation of children from their parents were made with extraordinary caution, and only after an evaluation of the specific circumstances of a particular case."
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Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
10 mins ago - Economy & Business

Inflation will rise. Don't panic

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

It's been 40 years since America last saw a damaging level of inflation. Yet despite that — or perhaps because of it — inflation fears are widespread, and could even become self-fulfilling.

Why it matters: The government's strategy for bringing back employment and widespread prosperity involves a necessary — yet temporary — increase in inflation. When an entire generation has never experienced such a thing, that can be disconcerting. And for the time being, Americans are not buying what the government is selling.

Updated 54 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Gunman kills 8 people in shooting at FedEx facility in Indianapolis

A screenshot of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson Genae Cook during a news conference Friday morning. Photo: Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department/Facebook

A gunman opened fire at a FedEx warehouse facility in Indianapolis late Thursday, killing at least eight people and wounding multiple others, authorities said.

Details: "The alleged shooter has taken his own life here at the scene," Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson Genae Cook said during a news conference early Friday.

Dems race to address, preempt stimulus fraud claims

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Biden officials are working to root out the systematic fraud in unemployment and Paycheck Protection Program claims that plagued the Trump administration’s efforts to boost the economy with coronavirus relief money, Gene Sperling told House committee chairmen privately this week.

Why it matters: President Biden just signed another $1.9 trillion of aid into law, with Sperling tapped to oversee its implementation. And the administration is asking Congress to approve another $2.2 trillion for the first phase of an infrastructure package.

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