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Lindsey Graham speaking to a crowd. Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images

President Trump's family separation policy for illegal immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border has sparked public outrage among Republican lawmakers.

Why it matters: This wave of Republican rejection puts the Trump administration in a difficult position as House Republicans consider two immigration bills this week — one of which would address the issue, but would likely need Trump's support to be successful.

  • Sen. Lindsey Graham said President Trump could "stop this policy with a phone call" on Friday in an interview with CNN. "I'll go tell him. If you don't like families being separated, you can tell DHS stop doing it."
  • Sen. Ben Sasse outlined his feelings on Facebook but gave his "short version" in a tweet: "While there's much to say about how catch-and-release policies led us here, family separation is wicked & needs to be stopped "
  • Sen. Susan Collins said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that the policy is "traumatizing to the children who are innocent victims" and "contrary" to the values of the country.
  • Sen. Jeff Flake, along with Collins, wrote a letter to the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services with questions about the family separation policy as it applies to asylum seekers.
  • Rep. Mark Meadows said "families need to be unified" and that legislators need to "get to the bottom of it and make sure families stay together" in an interview with MSNBC's Chris Hayes.
  • Rep. Will Hurd, whose district includes a long stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border, called the policy "unacceptable" and said children should not be used as a "deterrent policy" in the "home of the free and land of the brave," in an interview with CNN.
  • Sen. James Lankford tweeted that he disagrees with the policy, adding that he believes "we must continue to protect the privacy of the children."

Former First Lady Laura Bush jumped into the fray yesterday, stating that the policy "breaks her heart" and comparing it to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. First Lady Melania Trump also issued a statement via her spokeswoman yesterday, saying that the United States needs "to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart."

Go deeper: Pressure grows on Trump to change border policy for kids.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.

The week markets went wild

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio

The markets just closed out a manic week.

Why it matters: Outsized — and in some cases historic — moves were evident across the board.