Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Wednesday that it will immediately "delay" the bulk of its deportation efforts amid the novel coronavirus pandemic and instead focus on undocumented persons who have committed criminal acts or who threaten public safety.

Why it matters: The announcement aims to curb the spread of COVID-19 and to encourage anyone who needs testing or treatment to pursue medical assistance.

What they're saying: "[D]uring the COVID-19 crisis, ICE will not carry out enforcement operations at or near health care facilities, such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, accredited health clinics, and emergent or urgent care facilities, except in the most extraordinary of circumstances," per an ICE statement.

  • The agency, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, will for now "focus on people who are subject to mandatory detention because of their criminal convictions."
  • ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations "will exercise discretion to delay enforcement actions until after the crisis or utilize alternatives to detention, as appropriate."

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Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 13,589,273 — Total deaths: 584,990 — Total recoveries — 7,607,033Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 3,499,771 — Total deaths: 137,420 — Total recoveries: 1,075,882 — Total tested: 42,521,027Map.
  3. States: Georgia governor bans local governments from issuing mask mandates — Florida breaks single-day record with over 150 coronavirus deaths
  4. World: U.S., Canada and U.K. accuse Russia of trying to steal coronavirus vaccine research.
  5. Politics: RNC to restrict attendance at Florida convention amid coronavirus surge.
  6. Business: More than 32 million Americans are receiving unemployment benefits.

How cities can come back stronger from the coronavirus pandemic

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Cities ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic have a chance to come back stronger — and more equitable — than they were before, if they're willing to get creative in the way they think about budgeting, public services and infrastructure.

Why it matters: Making smart decisions now can help build more equitable, livable cities that will also be better equipped to weather public health crises. But if local leaders simply default to old habits, they'll entrench inequities that the pandemic has exploited and made worse.

2 hours ago - Health

U.S., Canada and U.K. accuse Russia of trying to steal coronavirus vaccine research

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Alexei Druzhinin\TASS via Getty Images

Hackers associated with Russian intelligence services are trying to steal information from researchers involved in coronavirus vaccine development, according to a joint advisory by U.K., U.S. and Canadian authorities published Thursday.

The big picture: This isn't the first time a foreign adversary has been accused of attempting to steal COVID-19-related research. U.S. officials in May announced an uptick in Chinese-government affiliated hackers targeting medical research and other facilities in the U.S. for data on a potential cure or effective treatments to combat the virus.