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DHS to address damage caused by border wall construction

A portion of border wall in New Mexico. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security announced Friday it will begin repairing a broken flood barrier in Texas and a strip of eroding soil in California — issues that resulted from border wall construction in the respective areas.

The big picture: DHS said in a news release that the repairs were prompted by a "review the extensive problems created by the prior administration’s border wall construction" and are meant to "protect border communities from physical dangers..."

Supreme Court justices rules in favor of undocumented immigrant citing legal technicality

Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of an undocumented Guatemalan immigrant who challenged his deportation.

The state of play: The majority opinion brought together an unusual coalition of conservative and liberal justices: Neil Gorsuch, who authored the opinion, and Clarence Thomas, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Amy Coney Barrett.

  • Gorsuch wrote that the Justice Department violated federal law by not providing Agusto Niz-Chavez with a single comprehensive "notice to appear," ABCNews reports.

DOJ reverses Trump limits on grants to sanctuary cities

Immigrant families and activists rally outside the Tennessee State Capitol against a law that will prohibit sanctuary city policies in the state. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

The Justice Department has repealed a Trump-era order that cut off hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding to cities that did not cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Why it matters: The 2017 order from President Trump was part of his larger crackdown on immigration. It faced a string of lawsuits from cities and states, per CNN, that argued such cooperation would deter immigrants from reporting crimes.

Biden's 100-day numbers: Migrant kids

Data: Department of Health and Human Services; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

During his first 100 days, President Biden's successes at times have been overshadowed by news of the record number of migrant minors crossing the U.S.-Mexico border — overwhelming government resources.

By the numbers: There's still a record number of migrant children being held in shelters overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services, and the administration has had to open 13 emergency shelters since late February, sometimes through big contracts with nonprofit groups.

Mike Allen, author of AM
Apr 25, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Exclusive: Frank Luntz previews a feasible immigration compromise

A man looks across the Rio Grande in February, while waiting to show immigration documents to officers at the U.S.-Mexico crossing in Matamoros, Mexico. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

A poll and series of focus groups has honed a one-two punch for a doable immigration deal: Give Democratic lawmakers a real path to citizenship for Dreamers, and give Republicans tight border security that's more realistic than a wall.

Why it matters: The formula — by Frank Luntz, who rose to fame as a Republican pollster but in recent years has taken a more bipartisan approach to policy — would make real progress on one of the nation's biggest tragedies that Capitol Hill has failed to confront.

Apr 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Mexican president to talk migration with VP Harris on May 7

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is scheduled to hold a virtual meeting with Vice President Kamala Harris on May 7 to discuss the surge of migration at the countries' shared border, Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard tweeted Saturday.

The big picture: The scheduled meeting comes as the Biden administration takes a multi-pronged approach to the increased number of migrants coming to the southern border, Axios' Stef Kight reports.

Scoop: Hotels back out of housing migrant families amid political furor

Central American families board a U.S. Customs and Border Protection bus. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

At the last minute, four hotels in Texas and Arizona backed out of agreements to house around 600 migrant family members amid growing border-crossing numbers and swirling political debates over immigration, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The nonprofit Endeavors has already secured new hotels to fulfill its $87 million contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Still, the last-minute changes underscore the logistical and political hurdles to finding space for the increasing numbers of migrant families and children illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

Senators unveil bipartisan bill to address surge at the border

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Sens. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) introduced bipartisan legislation on Thursday in response to the surge of migration at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Why it matters: It is the first bipartisan, bicameral bill to address the border situation. Both Cornyn and Sinema are part of a larger bipartisan group of senators who met for the second time on Wednesday to work toward passing immigration legislation.

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.