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Photo: Herika Martinez/AFP/Getty Images

In July, 9,258 family members were caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, according to Customs and Border Protection data released today — not quite 200 fewer than the month before and a record high for July since at least 2012.

Why it matters: The Trump administration's family separation policy does not seem to have had its intended deterrent effect. The numbers highlight the desperation of many migrant families, risking family separation to escape their plight at home. And while the overall number of arrests along the border were lower, they're in line with past years — with the exception of 2017's statistical anomaly.

What they're saying: DHS press secretary Tyler Houlton lauded the drop in overall numbers in July in a statement, giving credit to the Trump administration policies. But he later admitted that the number of families apprehended is still high "and their percentage of total crossings has increased as court decisions prevent us from detaining and prosecuting family unit adults. The inability to apply consequences to any law breaker ultimately threatens the safety and security of the nation and its communities."

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Technology

From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

Updated 4 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

Updated 5 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 Omicron variant cases identified in Europe, U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Health officials in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany announced on Saturday that they've detected the first known cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The discoveries come as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.