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Kirstjen Nielsen. Photo: Aurora Samperio/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The now-ousted Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and ICE director Ron Vitiello put a stop to a secret White House plan to arrest up to 10,000 migrant parents and children in 10 major cities, the Washington Post reports, citing 7 current and former Department of Homeland Security officials.

Details: The plan, eagerly supported by senior White House adviser Stephen Miller and ICE deputy director Matthew Albence, involved "dramatic, highly visible mass arrests" and accelerated deportations in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities — part of the Trump administration's effort to send a deterrence message to migrants crossing the border after its failed "zero tolerance" policy.

  • Nielsen and Vietiello reportedly challenged the plan in the weeks before their departures over concerns about "a lack of preparation" by ICE agents, "the risk of public outrage and worries that it would divert resources from the border," per the Post.
  • Stephen Miller declined to comment to Axios.

The big picture: Nielsen, who became one of the faces of the Trump administration's much-maligned family separation policy, was forced to resign last month after a tumultuous tenure as one of the president's main immigration punching bags. Trump long felt that Nielsen wasn't "tough enough" when it came to defending the border and kicking illegal immigrants out of the U.S.

  • Her departure was followed by aggressive changes to the administration's immigration policies, some of which are legally and politically dubious, according to some officials.

Go deeper: Inside Trump's hardline new border plan

Go deeper

58 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.

The China whisperer

Nick Burns. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee for ambassador to China will face aggressive questioning Wednesday about the most important, and potentially perilous, bilateral relationship in the world.

Why it matters: While Nick Burns is an experienced diplomat with support on both sides of the aisle, lawmakers want to use his confirmation hearing to force the administration into some tough positions on China.

Jan. 6 committee recommends contempt charges against Bannon

Steve Bannon. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riots unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday night recommending that former Trump aide Steve Bannon be held in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena.

Why it matters: The resolution sets up a House vote to refer Bannon for potential criminal prosecution, signaling that the committee will not tolerate attempts by former President Trump and his associates to stymie the investigation.