Ruben Garcia, director of Annunciation House in El Paso, speaks to the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement as he sits with Josue, who migrated from Guatemala, and Miriam, who migrated from Honduras, as they try to track down their children. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

"The 1-year-old boy in a green button-up shirt drank milk from a bottle, played with a small purple ball that lit up when it hit the ground and occasionally asked for 'agua,'" AP's Astrid Galvan writes from Phoenix.

What's happening: "Then it was the child's turn for his court appearance before a Phoenix immigration judge, who ... asks immigrant defendants whether they understand the proceedings." Judge John W. Richardson told the lawyer representing the 1-year-old: "I'm embarrassed to ask it, because I don't know who you would explain it to, unless you think that a 1-year-old could learn immigration law."

"The boy is one of hundreds of children who need to be reunited with their parents after being separated at the border, many of them split from mothers and fathers as a result of the Trump administration's 'zero-tolerance policy.'"

  • "[T]he nation's immigration court system ... requires children — some still in diapers — to have appearances before judges and go through deportation proceedings while separated from their parents."
  • "Such children don't have a right to a court-appointed attorney, and 90 percent of kids without a lawyer are returned to their home countries, according to Kids in Need of Defense, a group that provides legal representation."

"In Phoenix on Friday, the Honduran boy named Johan waited over an hour to see the judge. His attorney told Richardson that the boy's father had brought him to the U.S. but that they had been separated, although it's unclear when. He said the father, who was now in Honduras, was removed from the country under false pretenses that he would be able to leave with his son."

  • "For a while, the child wore dress shoes, but later he was in just socks as he waited to see the judge. He was silent and calm for most of the hearing, though he cried hysterically afterward for the few seconds that a worker handed him to another person while she gathered his diaper bag. He is in the custody of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department."
  • "Johan was granted a voluntary departure order that would allow the government to fly him to Honduras so that he could be reunited with his family. An attorney with the Florence Project, an Arizona-based nonprofit that provides free legal help to immigrants, said both his mother and father were in Honduras."

The big picture: "The boy's case was heard on the same day that the Trump administration said it needed more time to reunite 101 children under 5 years old to ensure the children's safety and to confirm their parental relationships."

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.

Early voting eclipses 2016 total with 12 days until election

People stand in line to vote early in Fairfax, Virginia in September. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Americans have cast more than 47.1 million ballots in the 2020 presidential election, surpassing the total early-vote count for 2016 with 12 days left until Election Day, according to a Washington Post analysis of voting data.

Why it matters: The election is already underway, as many states have expanded early and mail-in voting options because of the coronavirus pandemic.

What to expect from the final debate of the 2020 election

Trump and Biden at the first debate. Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Image

Watch for President Trump to address Joe Biden as “the big guy” or “the chairman” at tonight's debate as a way of dramatizing the Hunter Biden emails. Hunter's former business partner Tony Bobulinski is expected to be a Trump debate guest.

The big picture: Trump's advisers universally view the first debate as a catastrophe — evidenced by a sharp plunge in Trump’s public and (more convincingly for them) private polling immediately following the debate.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!