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Demonstrators at a rally last year in Texas against the Trump administration's immigration policies. Photo: Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images

A federal judge in California on Thursday imposed a 6-month deadline on the Trump administration to identify potentially thousands of migrant children who were separated from their families after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border last year.

Details: The government had said it would take officials up to 2 years to comb through the records of 47,000 migrant children who were in custody between July 1, 2017 and June 25, 2018. U.S. Judge Dana Sabraw's ruling came in response to a class-action lawsuit filed by the ACLU. Earlier this year, an internal government watchdog found that thousands of migrant children may have been separated before the administration began collecting data through its "zero-tolerance" policy, officially announced in April 2018. Last year, Sabraw ordered the administration reunite more than 2,000 migrant children with their parents.

Go deeper: Inside Trump's hardline new border plan

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.