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Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty Images

Mexicans account for more than half of the estimated 21,000 asylum seekers waiting along the U.S.-Mexico border, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Why it matters: The increase in Mexican asylum seekers poses a particular challenge to the Trump administration and its "Remain in Mexico" policy, which requires Central American refugee seekers to remain in Mexico while they await their hearings. It can't apply to Mexicans since international law bans sending people back to the country where they may face persecution.

  • The flow of Central Americans seeking asylum in the U.S. has simultaneously been lessening as a result of the more restrictive policies put in place by the Trump administration and Mexico.

Why now: Mexicans struggling with poverty and violence in some parts of the country are seeking asylum in the U.S. after hearing stories of Central Americans having some success with the process.

  • U.S. authorities are currently only allowing a small number of Mexican asylum seekers to enter the country each day through a process known as "metering."

What's next: Ken Cuccinelli, acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said the U.S. could start sending Mexican asylum seekers to Guatemala to wait out their cases instead of allowing them to remain in the U.S.

Go deeper: Republican governors reject Trump’s offer to ban refugees

Go deeper

39 mins ago - Health

COVID-19 drives smell loss awareness, research

A health worker carries out an olfactory test outside Buenos Aires. Photo: Alejandro Pagni/AFP via Getty Images

The pandemic has thrust a relatively unknown ailment, anosmia — or smell loss — into the international spotlight.

Why it matters: Researchers hope smell testing becomes as standard as the annual flu shot, helping to detect early signs of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Senate passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate voted 50-49 on Saturday to approve President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

Why it matters: COVID relief has been a central promise for Biden, and passing the sweeping package has been a major priority for the administration and congressional Democrats.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Health

Why we need to know COVID's origins

The WHO's headquarters in Geneva. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Geopolitical tensions are foiling efforts to get to the bottom of how COVID-19 originated.

Why it matters: Insights into how COVID-19 began can help us prevent future pandemics — especially if it involved any kind of leak or accident at a virology lab.