May 7, 2018

New policy could separate families who illegally cross the border

Migrants wave at border crossing in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico. Photo: Guillermo/ARIAS, AFP via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security will announce a new policy on Monday that directs agents to refer anyone caught crossing the border illegally to the Justice Department for prosecution, the L.A. Times first reported and Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: The move is directly aligned with Attorney General Jeff Sessions' new "zero-tolerance policy," and could lead to parents being separated from their children if caught crossing the border illegally — a sharp departure from current immigration procedure.

Details: DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen signed the policy on Friday.

  • It does not apply to families who enter at or between ports of entry and claim asylum.
  • If parents are arrested and sent to federal court, the children will be treated as unaccompanied minors and placed in the custody of Health and Human Services.

Big picture: This comes as the number of border crossings continues to spike, showing a dramatic uptick from last year, but following historic seasonal trends. It also follows the arrival of the "caravan" of Central Americans, who traveled to the southern border with the intention of crossing illegally or claiming asylum.

  • Since Congress' immigration reform failed earlier this year, DHS, the DOJ, and the White House have been using everything within their power to crack down on illegal immigration.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 716,101 — Total deaths: 33,854 — Total recoveries: 148,900.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 136,880 — Total deaths: 2,409 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: The first federal prisoner to die from coronavirus was reported from a correctional facility in Louisiana on Sunday.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "panicked" some people into fleeing New York
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reports 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reports almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Trump touts press briefing "ratings" as U.S. coronavirus case surge

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump sent about a half-dozen tweets on Sunday touting the high television ratings that his coronavirus press briefings have received, selectively citing a New York Times article that compared them to "The Bachelor" and "Monday Night Football."

Why it matters: The president has been holding daily press briefings in the weeks since the coronavirus pandemic was declared, but news outlets have struggled with how to cover them live — as Trump has repeatedly been found to spread misinformation and contradict public health officials.

World coronavirus updates: Total cases surge to over 700,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

There are now than more than 700,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The virus has now killed more than 32,000 people — with Italy alone reporting over 10,000 deaths.

The big picture: Governments around the world have stepped up public health and economic measures to stop the spread of the virus and soften the financial impact. In the U.S., now the site of the largest outbreak in the world, President Trump said Saturday he would issue a "strong" travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health