A migrant child looks out the window of a bus being blocked by protesters on the way out of a detention center in McAllen, Texas. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

President Trump's executive order about separated children was signed on his whim. It was cobbled together in hours, sources tell Axios, by White House lawyers huddled around desktop screens after he couldn't take the TV coverage, tweeted that he was going to fix it, then ordered his aides to get it done.

Why it matters: There was no preset plan for undoing the damage, or for handling future cases.

  • "More than 2,300 migrant children have been separated from parents, and dozens are now being funneled from Texas shelters to foster homes across the country, including in South Carolina and Michigan," the Houston Chronicle's Allie Morris writes.
  • "The children face daunting questions about where they will live and in what conditions, about who will raise them and when they will see — or even talk to — their parents again."

The Department of Homeland Security released a "Fact Sheet: Zero-Tolerance Prosecution and Family Reunification" promising: "The United States government knows the location of all children in its custody and is working to reunite them with their families."

  • The release says U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) "maintains a publicly available online detainee locator which can be used to locate adults detained by ICE."
  • The form notes in red: "Online Detainee Locator System cannot search for records of persons under the age of 18."

Go deeper

Chief Justice John Roberts was hospitalized in June after fall

Chief Justice John Roberts overseeing the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump. Photo: Senate Television via Getty Images

Chief Justice John Roberts was hospitalized overnight after a fall on June 21, a Supreme Court spokesperson confirmed to the Washington Post on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Speculation regarding justices' health — given their lifetime appointments — always runs rampant, and this incident may have not been made public if the Post hadn't "received a tip."

Congress vs. tech's gang of four

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The CEOs of tech's four leading giants will defend their industry's growing concentration of power from critics on both right and left who view them as monopolists when they testify, most likely virtually, before Congress on July 27.

Why it matters: The joint appearance by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Apple's Tim Cook, Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Google's Sundar Pichai will mark a historic collision between the leaders of an industry that has changed the world and political leaders who believe those changes have harmed democracy and individual rights.

2020 attention tracker: The Trump policy trap

Data: Newswhip; Graphic: Axios Visuals — Note: Hover over the graphic on desktop to see weekly articles and interactions for candidates and issues.

The three topics generating the most intense interest online are the coronavirus, racial injustice and foreign policy, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios — and all are issues that are working against President Trump right now.

Why it matters: Storylines in Trump's populist sweet spot that carried the news cycle for much of his presidency — immigration, trade, a strong economy — have fallen away during the pandemic.