The big picture

Biden's Day 1 challenges: The immigration reset

He wants to reverse course on Trump's immigration crackdown, but nothing about it will be simple.

Nov 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy
The plunge in highly skilled work visas

The restrictions and bottlenecks may outlast the pandemic.

Sep 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy
Immigrants on the front lines in the coronavirus fight

They're America's doctors, cab drivers and farm workers.

Apr 3, 2020 - Health
Deep Dive: A widening world without a home

If all the refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people were a country, they'd be the 21st most populous nation in the world.

Dec 15, 2018 - Politics & Policy

All Immigration stories

Mayors press Biden to adopt progressive immigration agenda

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A coalition of nearly 200 mayors and county executives is challenging Joe Biden and the incoming Congress to adopt a progressive immigration agenda that would give everyone a pathway to citizenship.

Why it matters: The group's goals, set out in a white paper released today, seem to fall slightly to the left of what the president-elect plans to propose on Inauguration Day — though not far — and come at a time of intense national polarization over immigration.

DOJ watchdog report underscores chaos of “zero tolerance” immigration policy

A Central American migrant and her children walk outside El Chaparral port of entry in Tijuana, Mexico, in July 2019. Photo: Omarínez/AFP via Getty Images

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions underestimated how complicated the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy would be, and did not fully understand the legal requirements to care for children separated from their families, according to a report released Thursday by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

Why it matters: At least 545 parents separated from their children at the U.S.-Mexico border under the now-reversed policy could not be located as of October.

Acting director of ICE resigns

ICE headquarters in Washington, D.C., in 2020. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Jonathan Fahey, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has resigned after leading the agency for two weeks, though it is unclear what prompted his departure, an ICE spokesperson confirmed to Axios Wednesday night.

Why it matters: Fahey's exit, first reported by Buzzfeed's Hamed Aleaziz, comes after the previous acting director, Tony Pham, abruptly left the post in December and amid a wider shakeup in the Department of Homeland Security.

The resegregating (and diversifying) of U.S. schools

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

School segregation between Black and white students has returned to 1968 levels, even as the nation grows more diverse.

Why it matters: Black and white school segregation has deepened toward pre-Civil Rights Movement-era numbers despite decades of strides.

Dec 18, 2020 - Health

Latina activist laments CDC's COVID guidance for Spanish speakers

Axios' Stef Kight (left) and Sindy Benavides (right). Photo: Axios

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention failed to release coronavirus guidance for Spanish speakers when the pandemic started in the spring, said League of United Latin American Citizens CEO Sindy Benavides at an Axios virtual event on Friday.

Why it matters: The Hispanic community represents almost 20% of the U.S. population and has been one of the most affected by the pandemic, along with other communities of color.

Supreme Court punts on challenge to Trump's congressional apportionment plan

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday threw out a lawsuit against the Trump administration’s plans to exclude undocumented immigrants from the population base used for congressional seat apportionment, calling the challenge "premature."

Why it matters: The decision to punt would hypothetically allow the Trump administration to move forward with its plans to exclude undocumented immigrants. But it's unclear whether it is even possible for the administration to follow through on it, and if they did, there could still be legal challenges.

Biden's Homeland Security pick wins law enforcement support

Alejandro Mayorkas. Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A number of immigration and law enforcement groups are publicly backing Homeland Security nominee Alejandro Mayorkas after he failed to receive a single Republican vote when he last faced Senate confirmation, according to support letters reviewed by Axios.

Why it matters: Mayorkas would be the first immigrant and Latino to run the Department of Homeland Security, and the push from typically right-leaning law enforcement groups in particular could give him a critical boost with GOP lawmakers.

Surge in border crossings spells early test for Biden’s immigration plans

A plaque commemorating President Donald Trump on the border wall. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

70,000 migrants were caught crossing the Southwest border of the U.S. last month — a 64% increase compared to last November that came in spite of the pandemic and strict immigration enforcement policies, border officials told reporters Monday.

Driving the news: Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan — a Trump appointee with hardline immigration views — sought to blame the increase in the waning days of the administration on the courts and President-elect Joe Biden's stated immigration platform.

Federal judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, giving undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children a chance to petition for protection from deportation.

Why it matters: President Trump has sought to undo the Obama-era program since taking office. Friday’s ruling will require Department of Homeland Security officers to begin accepting new applications for DACA as soon as Monday.

Justice Department sues Facebook over favoring H-1B workers

Photo: Ting Shen/Xinhua via Getty Images

The Justice Department is suing Facebook, alleging that the tech giant discriminated against American workers by intentionally reserving more than 2,600 jobs for immigrants on H-1B visas, the department announced Thursday.

Details: The department's two-year investigation found that Facebook gave jobs to visa holders whom the company sponsored for green cards, while failing to properly advertise the open positions or consider U.S.-born workers.

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