Aug 8, 2018

Thousands of families cross southern border despite "zero tolerance"

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."

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Trump administration asks Congress for $2.5 billion to fight coronavirus

President Trump with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar at the White House in September. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Trump administration sent a letter to Congress Monday requesting a funding commitment of at least $2.5 billion to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Details: The request for a lump sum account for the Department of Health and Human Services includes $1.25 billion in new funds to fight COVID-19 and $535 would come from untouched funds for the Ebola virus.

WHO won't call coronavirus a pandemic as cases spread

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

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The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,620 people and infected almost 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

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Zoom in: Here's a look at what comes with a coronavirus outbreak in communities outside China that have been hardest hit so far.

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