Jun 25, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon. Today's PM is 580 words, a ~2 minute read.

1 big thing: The migrant kids crisis

Children gathered in the largest migrant children detention center in the U.S. in Homestead, Florida. Photo: Gianrigo Marletta/AFP/Getty Images

The fallout over migrant children in squalid conditions reached new heights today, Axios' Zachary Basu reports.

  • Officials confirmed that more than 100 children had been returned to a Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas, because of a lack of bed space and funding at other facilities, WashPost reports.
  • Hours later, news of acting Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner John Sanders' resignation went public.

Why it matters: Hundreds of migrant kids were moved out of the station just yesterday — where lawyers say they found kids sleeping on floors, taking care of toddlers, and going without proper nutrition or sanitation for days, according to the AP.

  • The revelations set off outrage from Democrats and activists who viewed it as a failure of the Trump administration to handle the influx of migrants at the southern border with compassion and compliance with federal statutes.
  • In an interview with AP days before his resignation, Sanders said the number of migrants in the custody of Border Patrol is 11,000 over capacity. He urged Congress to pass an emergency aid package.

The big picture: The chaos of the past week has underscored some of the real-world effects of a paralyzed Washington.

  • The House will vote on a $4.5 billion emergency funding bill that would appropriate $934.5 million for "processing facilities, food, water, sanitary items, blankets, medical services, and safe transportation," per ABC.
  • Nancy Pelosi has spent the last 48 hours trying to cobble together votes from progressives in her caucus. Some have sought to block Trump from using the funds to implement his hardline immigration policies.
  • "We cannot continue to throw money at a dysfunctional system," Rep. Ilhan Omar said yesterday. "We are not just asking for simple changes to be made into this bill, but to go back to the drawing board and really address this from a humanitarian issue."

What to watch: Trump has threatened to veto the package, accusing Democrats of undermining his border efforts — while acknowledging conditions at detention centers are "terrible."

  • Even without Trump's veto, Democrats and Republicans have 3 days to reach agreement before the July 4 recess. Trump says his "mass deportation" threat will return in 2 weeks if a solution isn't reached.

Go deeper: Illustrated guide of what happens when migrant kids cross the border

Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: Meng Delong/VCG via Getty Images

Aerial view of fishermen catching crayfish next to photovoltaic solar panels at a fishery-solar hybrid photovoltaic power station in Yangzhou, China.

2. What you missed
  1. Trump set a new red line on Iran, tweeting any "attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force." Go deeper.
  2. Fed chairman Jerome Powell made his most direct acknowledgement of Trump's criticisms. Go deeper.
  3. The next White House press secretary will be Stephanie Grisham, as foreshadowed last week by Axios' Jonathan Swan. Details.
  4. Illinois became the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults.
  5. Worthy of your time: If you compare the volume of space we're able to search for signs of advanced technology to the volume of Earth's oceans, then "so far since 1960, we've searched about one hot tub's worth of the ocean." Go deeper.
3. 1 fun thing

Boris Johnson, the frontrunner to replace outgoing U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, had a very interesting answer when asked by Talkradio's Ross Kempsell about his favorite way to relax:

  • "I like to paint. Oh, I make things. ... I have a thing where I make models of — I make buses."
  • "I make models of buses."
  • "I get old, um, I don't know, wooden crates, right? And then I paint them. ... Suppose it's a box that's been used to contain two wine bottles, right?"
  • "I paint the passengers enjoying themselves on the wonderful bus."

Watch the video.

Mike Allen