Jul 9, 2018

Go deeper: HHS struggles to meet family reunification deadlines

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Trump administration is struggling to meet several court-ordered deadlines to reunite more than 2,000 migrant children with their parents.

What's happening: The administration was two days late in providing a complete list of the 102 children under the age of five being held by the Department of Health and Human Services. And today, a Justice Department lawyer told a federal judge that just 54 of those children are scheduled to be returned to their parents on Tuesday, per NBC News' Julia Ainsley, despite that being the original reunification deadline for all 102 children.

How we got here: Last month, the ACLU won a preliminary injunction requiring the reunification of children under five by July 9, and all children by July 26. Judge Dana Sabraw rejected a last-minute government request to extend the deadline on Saturday, forcing HHS into a logistical debacle of its own making.

The big picture: HHS Secretary Alex Azar has refused to give an exact figure for how many migrant children are currently separated from their families, but he told reporters last Thursday that the total was "fewer than 3,000." Azar said HHS was focused on vetting parents to ensure that it would be safe to hand over a child, and that it is unrealistic to expect every case to be resolved in such a short time.

Be smart: As Vox's Dara Lind points out, a fact sheet sent to reporters on June 23 claimed that HHS has "a process established to ensure that family members know the location of their children and have regular communication after separation.” The pace of reunification thus far has suggested that the process is not nearly as clear as originally advertised.

What's next: The ACLU and the Trump administration will be back in court tomorrow at 1 p.m. EST to "discuss next steps." Judge Dana Sabraw has asked government attorneys to provide a timeline for reuniting the remaining children, reports Ainsley.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 5,463,392 — Total deaths: 344,503 — Total recoveries — 2,195,325Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 1,653,904 — Total deaths: 97,948 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Italy reports lowest number of new coronavirus cases since February

Italy’s aerobatic team Frecce Tricolori fly over Milan in Duomo Square on May 25. Photo: Francesco Prandoni/Getty Images

The Italian government reported 300 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, the lowest daily increase since Feb. 29.

Why it matters: Italy, the first country in Europe to implement a nationwide lockdown after emerging as a hotspot in March, appears to have finally weathered its coronavirus outbreak. Italy has reported nearly 33,000 total deaths, the third-highest total behind the U.S. and U.K.

Joe Biden makes first public appearance in over two months

Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden made his first in-person appearance in over two months on Monday to honor Memorial Day by laying a wreath at a Delaware veterans park, AP reports.

Why it matters: Biden, the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, has taken the unprecedented step of campaigning from his home during the coronavirus pandemic, ever since canceling a rally in Cleveland on March 10.