Mar 6, 2020

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 500 words, a 2-minute read.

 📉Coronavirus milestones:

  • The world now has more than 100K coronavirus cases.
  • Stock markets closed down 1% today.
1 big thing: Coronavirus's threat to immigrants

President Trump signs an emergency funding bill to combat coronavirus. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Democrats and public health experts fear that the Trump administration's immigration policies could scare immigrants away from getting medical help as the coronavirus spreads, Axios' Stef Kight reports.

  • Why it matters: Americans need to be able to get tested and see doctors. For immigrants, that can involve trusting the federal agencies that have made it harder for them to stay in the country.
  • "This administration has given immigrants very little reason to believe them," Migration Policy Institute's Sarah Pierce told Axios.

What we're watching: Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, told senators yesterday that health care facilities are already "sensitive locations" where immigration enforcement isn't carried out, except in "exigent circumstances."

In the past, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has issued public guidance during natural disasters to assure immigrants they would not be arrested for getting medical help, former acting ICE director John Sandweg told Axios. He said the same should be done in response to the coronavirus.

  • "The reality is that ICE is very reluctant to arrest and detain anyone with a contagious disease," Sandweg said. "While the risks of arrest are low, the fear in the immigrant communities is real."

Between the lines: Through new "public charge" rules, the administration has begun penalizing some immigrants and visa applicants who use or are considered likely to use certain public programs, including Medicaid programs.

  • Even before the policies took effect, immigrants were reportedly dropping out of Medicaid or public nutrition programs out of fear of being blocked from a green card — a sign that the chilling effect is real.

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Bonus: Pics du jour
Photo: James D. Morgan/Getty Images

Above: A sign informing customers of no mask availability in a suburb of Sydney.

Below: Dancers of The Shanghai Ballet take part in a training session.

Photo: Tang Yanjun/China News Service via Getty Images
2. Catch up quick
  1. The U.S. economy added 273,000 jobs in February, while the unemployment rate dipped to 3.5%. Go deeper.
  2. A company is planning to fly a crew of private citizens to the International Space Station as early as next year using SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule. Go deeper.
  3. HuffPost editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen is exiting the progressive website to become head of content for Gimlet, a podcast network and production company acquired by Spotify in 2019. Go deeper.
  4. The Trump campaign says it is suing CNN for libel over an opinion article. Go deeper.
3. 1 📚 thing

Photo: Europa Press News/Europa Press via Getty Images

In the face of public outcry, Woody Allen’s publisher has decided to cancel the planned release of his memoir “Apropos of Nothing," the AP reports.

  • Allen's daughter Dylan Farrow has previously accused him of sexual abuse, and his son Ronan Farrow published a book with the same publisher last year.
  • Both complained that the publisher had not reached out to fact check their father’s book, the AP notes.
Mike Allen