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Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas announced Monday that the Biden administration will explore "lawful pathways" to allow migrant families separated under the Trump administration to reunite in the U.S.

Why it matters: Biden has pledged to reunite the hundreds of families still separated as a result of the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy, and signed an executive order last month creating a family separation task force chaired by Mayorkas.

  • Mayorkas said at a press briefing that 105 families have been recently reunited, and that the federal government is "dedicating resources full-time" to reunion efforts.
  • He added that the administration is also "working closely" with legal counsel for the separated families, the countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, non-governmental organizations, and soon the private sector.

The big picture: Mayorkas tore into the Trump administration for its past immigration policies, calling the family separations "the most powerful and heartbreaking example of the cruelty that preceded" the Biden presidency and claiming that Trump "gutted" the immigration system.

  • The secretary cautioned that "it takes time to rebuild an entire system and to process individuals at the border," especially during a pandemic.
  • He urged prospective migrants "to wait" before coming to the U.S. in order to avoid adding to immigration backlogs, and noted that the Biden administration is "obligated" to continue using a Trump-era public health program to expel migrants due to COVID-19.
  • Mayorkas also insisted that there's not a crisis at the border, instead calling it "a challenge at the border that we are managing.”

What to watch: Mayorkas, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other White House officials will be on President Biden's call this afternoon with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his top aides.

Go deeper

Border Democrat warns Biden about immigrant fallout

Henry Cuellar (right). Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images

A Democratic lawmaker representing a border district warned the Biden administration against easing up too much on unauthorized immigrants, citing their impact on his constituents, local hospitals and their potential to spread the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) told Axios he supports President Biden. But the moderate said he sees the downsides of efforts to placate pro-immigrant groups, an effort that threatens to blow up on the administration.

Why 401(k) rollovers are so annoying

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If you happened to change jobs recently, you may have tried to transfer your retirement account from your former employer into an Individual Retirement Account or your new employer's 401(k) plan. If so, you probably encountered a bureaucratic gantlet — and you're not alone.

Why it matters: Kludgey processes around retirement account transfers result in people losing track of their funds, giving up important tax advantages, or otherwise disadvantaging themselves and being less prepared for retirement.

The hard math behind America's labor shortage

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Congressional Budget Office; Chart: Axios Visuals

Yes, the pandemic has created unusual temporary labor market dynamics. But in the bigger picture, the 2010s were a golden age for companies seeking cheap labor. The 2020s are not.

The big picture: In the 2010s, the massive millennial generation was entering the workforce, the massive baby bo0m generation was still hard at work, and there was a multi-year hangover from the deep recession caused by the global financial crisis.