Jan 24, 2018

Trump slams mayors for boycotting White House meeting

President Donald Trump listens at a White House meeting on immigration. Photo: Molly Riley-Pool/Getty Images

President Donald Trump rebuked the mayors who boycotted his bipartisan White House meeting on Wednesday over a subpoena threat from the Justice Department to 23 s0-called sanctuary cities:

"The mayors who choose to boycott this event have put the needs of criminal, illegal immigrants over law-abiding America. So let me tell you, the vast majority of people showed up."
— President Trump said at the meeting.

Why it matters: The DOJ notice is part of a broader effort by the Trump administration to crack down on illegal immigration. A California federal judge late last year blocked Trump's sanctuary cities executive order, which sought to deny funding to municipalities that refused to cooperate with efforts by the federal government to identify and deport undocumented immigrants. Some of the mayors who skipped the meeting called the legal threat an attack on the immigrant community.

Who skipped the meeting: At least five Democrats — Mitch Landrieu, New Orleans; Bill de Blasio, New York City; Michael Hancock, Denver; Steve Benjamin, Columbia, South Carolina and Rahm Emanuel, Chicago. Elizabeth Kautz, the Republican mayor of Burnsville, Minnesota also skipped the meeting, per the Wall Street Journal. More than 100 mayors were expected to gather at the White House to discuss infrastructure, the fight against the opioid epidemic and other issues.

The background: Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked 23 municipalities to submit documents showing whether they’re unlawfully withholding information from federal immigration authorities or else face subpoenas. Sessions said he's concerned that they're not in compliance with federal immigration law.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 859,556 — Total deaths: 42,332 — Total recoveries: 178,300.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 189,510 — Total deaths: 4,076 — Total recoveries: 7,109.
  3. Business updates: Should you pay your rent or mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic? Find out if you are protected under the CARES Act.
  4. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with underlying health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  5. Federal government latest: President Trump said the next two weeks would be "very painful," with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans.
  6. Coronavirus in custody: Inmates in all U.S. federal prisons are set to enter a 14-day quarantine on April 1. A federal judge on Tuesday ordered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release 10 detained immigrants who are at risk of contracting COVID-19 while in confinement.
  7. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Captain of nuclear aircraft carrier docked in Guam pleaded with the U.S. Navy for more resources after more than 100 members of his crew tested positive.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll tops 4,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 4,000 people in the U.S. — with over 1,000 deaths reported in New York City alone, per Johns Hopkins data. The number of deaths are still much lower than those reported in Italy, Spain and China.

Of note: Hours earlier, President Trump noted it's "going to be a very painful two weeks," with projections indicating the novel coronavirus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans — even with strict social distancing guidelines in place. "They are going to be facing a war zone," he said of medical workers.

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The novel coronavirus pandemic is the "greatest test" the world has faced together since the formation of the United Nations just after the Second World War ended in 1945, UN chief António Guterres said Tuesday.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 858,000 and the death toll exceeded 42,000 Tuesday night, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 12,000 deaths.

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