Jun 5, 2019

HHS cuts funds for detained unaccompanied minors' education, recreation

The Office of Refugee Resettlement began canceling funding for recreational programs, English classes and "legal aid for unaccompanied minors staying in federal migrant shelters" across the U.S. last week, according to an email sent to an HHS official and obtained by the Washington Post.

Where it stands: This funding cut could "run afoul of a federal court settlement and state licensing requirements that mandate education and recreation for minors in federal custody," the Post reports.

The other side: "Federal officials have warned Congress that they are facing 'a dramatic spike' in unaccompanied minors at the southern border and have asked Congress for $2.9 billion in emergency funding to expand shelters and care," the Post reports.

  • "The program could run out of money in late June, and the agency is legally obligated to direct funding to essential services," U.S. Health and Human Services spokesman Mark Weber told the Post.

What to watch: "I think it'll be subject to legal challenges, subject to pushback ... but the animated legal strategy is to push the boundaries of what they can do," immigration lawyer and advocate R. Andrew Free tells Axios.

Go deeper ... Report: Immigrants quarantined in over 30 ICE centers for mumps

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Scoop: Inside the Trump campaign's big hedge on Facebook

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Trump campaign has invested most of its advertising budget to date on Facebook, testing thousands of versions of ads per day to maximize its spending.

But behind the scenes, a source familiar with the campaign tells Axios, the thinking has shifted: "As everyone can see, we still have strong spending on Facebook, but the percentage of our total media budget [on Facebook] is shrinking."

Trump's revenge tour has the House in its sights

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Contributor

In the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections — buoyed by Republican control of both chambers — President Trump viewed campaigning for the House as a lower-tier priority and instead poured his energy into rallying for the Senate.

But after the GOP reckoning in 2018, and experiencing firsthand how damaging a Democratic-led House has been to him, Trump is now personally invested in helping Republicans regain the majority in November, several people familiar with his thinking tell Axios.

Pelosi warns U.S. allies against working with China's Huawei

Nancy Pelosi, Feb. 16. Photo: Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday cautioned U.S. allies against allowing Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei to develop their 5G networks, arguing at the Munich Security Conference that doing so is akin to “choosing autocracy over democracy," CNBC reports.

Why it matters: Pelosi's hawkish stance marks a rare area of agreement with the Trump administration, which believes Huawei is a national security threat because the Chinese government may be capable of accessing its equipment for espionage.

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