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United Constitutional Patriots leader Larry Mitchell Hopkins. Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty Images

The leader of a militia group in New Mexico that's been stopping migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border claimed his group was "training to assassinate George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama," an FBI affidavit alleges.

Details: United Constitutional Patriots leader Larry Mitchell Hopkins, 69, of Flora Vista, New Mexico, appeared in federal court in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Monday after being arrested Saturday for being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. The FBI affidavit forms part of the complaint against him.

The other side: Defense attorney Kelly O’Connell said Hopkins would plead not guilty to the firearms charge, per Reuters. Kelly told The New York Times the assassination claims were not true.

What's next? Hopkins, who also goes by the aliases Johnny Horton Jr. and "Striker," remains in custody pending a preliminary hearing and a detention hearing, scheduled for next Monday.

Go deeper

Biden confronts mounting humanitarian crisis at the border

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Pool/Getty Images     

Just over a month into his presidency, President Biden is staring down a mounting crisis at the border that could be just as bad as the ones faced by Barack Obama and Donald Trump, if not worse.

Why it matters: Immigration is an issue that can consume a presidency. It's intensely and poisonously partisan. It's complicated. And the lives and welfare of vulnerable children hang in the balance.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
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The rise of vaccine passports

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Vaccine passports were touted early in the pandemic as an important piece of the plan to get people back to normal life. Now they’re becoming a reality.

Driving the news: CLEAR, the secure digital identity app that you see in airports around the world, and CommonPass, a health app that lets users securely access vaccination records and COVID test results, have joined forces.

"Vaccine tourism" stretches states' supplies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans who are highly motivated to get vaccinated are traveling across state lines after hearing about larger vaccine supplies or loopholes in sign-up systems.

Why it matters: "Vaccine tourism" raises ethical and legal questions, and could worsen the racial socioeconomic and racial inequalities of the pandemic.