The big picture

Biden to end Trump-era agreement between ICE and agency housing migrant children

Biden is working to make it easier for families to host unaccompanied migrant children.

Mar 12, 2021 - Politics & Policy
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

Exclusive: Harris meets Guatemalan president Monday, travels in June

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris will meet virtually Monday with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei to discuss solutions to the surge of migration, and she'll visit the region in June, a senior White House official told Axios.

Why it matters: The administration is taking a multi-pronged approach to solving the problem and also hopes to announce details about its plan for investing aid in Central America on Monday — although a final dollar amount has yet to be decided.

Scoop: Government pays for some sponsors to pick up migrant kids

MIgrant minors play soccer at a holding facility in Donna, Texas. Photo: Dario Lopez-Mills/AFP via Getty Images

The federal government has been paying travel costs for adult sponsors trying to get to shelters to pick up migrant children, a Department of Health and Human Services agency spokesperson confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: Officials would not provide numbers, but the policy shift underscores the urgency the Biden administration feels to quickly release kids who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border alone and remain in HHS custody.

House votes to limit president's ability to impose discriminatory travel bans

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House voted 218-208 on Wednesday in favor of curbing presidential power to institute broad international travel bans on the basis of religion.

Why it matters: The legislation was first introduced last year after former President Trump issued a travel ban covering several Muslim-majority countries.

Church groups say they can help the government more at border

A mural inside of Casa del Refugiado in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Stef Kight/Axios

Despite the separation between church and state, the federal government depends upon religious shelters to help it cope with migration at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Why it matters: The network supports the U.S. in times of crisis, but now some shelter leaders are complaining about expelling families to Mexico when they have capacity — and feel a higher calling — to accommodate them.

Biden administration to change immigration terms for "alien," "assimilation"

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: John Moore, Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

The Biden administration will prohibit U.S. immigration enforcement agencies from using using terms like "alien," "illegal alien" and "assimilation," the Washington Post reports.

The state of play: Memos expected to be sent by the heads of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) frame the new language recommendations as a way of humanizing U.S. immigration policy, after four years of the Trump administration's hardline approach.

Apr 18, 2021 - Politics & Policy

George W. Bush wants "more respectful" tone on immigration

Former President George W. Bush (R) told "CBS Sunday Morning" that he wants the nation's immigration debate to be "more respectful about the immigrant."

Why it matters:  The Republican party has veered sharply to the right on the issue of immigration. Former President Trump built his campaign on the promise of building a new U.S.-Mexico border wall and issued strict policies for returning families and unaccompanied children.

"Disgraceful": Ilhan Omar, AOC, other Dems slam Biden's decision on refugee cap

Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

Several Democrats on Friday slammed President Biden's decision to not raise the cap on refugees allowed to enter the U.S. this year, calling it "disgraceful" and "utterly unacceptable."

Why it matters: Biden campaigned on the promise to increase the limit, which was set to a historically low figure under the Trump administration.

Biden to keep refugee cap at historically low figure set by Trump

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden will sign an order Friday to keep the number of refugee admissions this year at the historically low figure set by the Trump administration, walking back a campaign promise to raise the cap, a senior administration official confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: Biden has faced mounting pressure to increase the limit as he pledged, with his administration set to accept the lowest number of refugees this year of any modern president, including former President Trump.

Migrants cite Mexican law as incentive for heading north

Monitored by a caretaker, young unaccompanied immigrants, ages 3-9, in a playpen at a Homeland Security holding facility in Donna, Texas, last month. Photo: Dario Lopez-Mills - Pool/Getty Images

A Mexican law against the detention of minors who are headed to the U.S. border may unintentionally be encouraging more attempts by children to cross over.

The state of play: Teenagers from Honduras told Reuters they decided to cross to the U.S. through Mexico because of the law, which gives them temporary protection from deportation, as they felt safer making the attempt.

Rep. Castro: Asylum seekers deserve their day in court

Photo: Axios

The U.S. should do away with Title 42, a Trump-era policy for quickly expelling people at the border, and instead allow migrants to petition for ayslum as quickly as possible, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) said during an Axios virtual event on Thursday.

Why it matters: The policy, Castro said, denies many people seeking asylum the right to due process, and instead the Biden administration should focus on improving its capacity to process migrants flows and reunite people with their families or sponsors in the U.S.

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