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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."
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Go deeper

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

11 hours ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.