Jan 16, 2019

A turnaround in the migrant child crisis

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Data: AP; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

After reaching a record-breaking number of 14,542 migrant children in its custody last month, the Department of Health and Human Services has released more than 3,500 children, according to data collected by the Associated Press from individual HHS migrant child shelters.

Why it matters: While President Trump keeps the government shut down over his demands for a border wall, one aspect of the humanitarian crisis seems to be coming back under control.

The big picture: The controversial tent city in Tornillo, Texas, has been closed, but there are still more than 10,000 migrant minors still in HHS shelters — 50% more than there were at the same time last year.

By the numbers: Around 94% of the unaccompanied children were released to sponsors — the majority of which are family members already in the U.S. In addition, 3% were released because they turned 18, and 3% under other circumstances, an HHS spokesperson told Axios.

  • HHS has sped up its process for finding relatives or other families to care for the kids by no longer requiring that every household member of a sponsor family be fingerprinted.

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Lawmakers offer bipartisan update to children's online privacy law

Reps. Bobby Rush (L) and Tim Walberg. Photos: Alex Wong/Getty Images; Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call.

House lawmakers are introducing a bipartisan bill Thursday to update a long-standing children's online privacy law so that parents could force companies to delete personal information collected about their kids.

Go deeperArrowJan 9, 2020

Inside the bitter feud at Trump's health agencies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

When Alex Azar took over as Health and Human Services secretary, he was advised not to meet one-on-one with Seema Verma, one of his most important deputies. HHS staff said Verma was difficult to work with and quick to level accusations of sex discrimination — exactly where Azar finds himself now.

The big picture: Verma's claims that she's being discriminated against because of her gender extend throughout her tenure in the Trump administration, but her own behavior makes it difficult to tell whether the problem is her mismanagement or a male-dominated culture that makes it hard for a woman to hold her rightful sway, according to interviews with more than a dozen sources who know the situation well.

Go deeperArrowDec 18, 2019

Study: Educational apps can help children learn, but with some limitations

Photo: Sebastian Kahnert/picture alliance via Getty Images

Interactive learning apps prove helpful for early academic skills in developing children, particularly in early mathematics, but not without some limitations, researchers found.

Why it matters: Touch screens are ubiquitous among young children due in part to the rising popularity of educational apps that teach classroom instruction and memory. Under pressure to prepare them for school, parents give children the technology for later academic, behavioral, and emotional functioning.

Go deeperArrowDec 23, 2019