Apr 1, 2019

Trump administration will force more asylum seekers to wait in Mexico

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has ordered the immediate expansion of a program keeping asylum seekers in Mexico while they await their case decisions.

The big picture: The expansion would affect hundreds more asylum seekers every day, according to a press release on Monday. Last month, the border patrol had been encountering around 20,000 immigrants every week attempting to illegally cross the border — levels not seen for years. Detention centers are overcrowded, causing border officials to almost immediately release many family migrants.

  • The remain in Mexico policy is currently in effect at the El Paso port of entry as well as Calexico, but Nielsen has directed Customs and Border Protection to plan for an expansion to new areas as well.

Nielsen also directed CBP to accelerate its plan to move as many as 750 border patrol personnel currently working at legal ports of entry to areas struggling with the surge of migrants. She also authorized that they increase that number to as many as 2,000 officers.

  • Moving agents away from legal ports of entry could slow the process of entering the country for immigrants with legal visas, as well as impact the transportation of goods across the border.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 1,237,420 — Total deaths: 67,260 — Total recoveries: 252,944Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 312,762 — Total deaths: 9.132 — Total recoveries: 15,044Map.
  3. Public health latest: CDC launches national trackers and recommends face coverings in public. Federal government will cover costs of COVID-19 treatment for uninsured. Surgeon general says this week will be "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. Biden says DNC may have to hold virtual convention.
  5. States updates: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state "literally going day-to-day" with supplies.
  6. Work update: Employees still going to work face temperature checks, distanced work stations, protective devices and mass absences.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Cuomo says New York is "literally going day-to-day with our supplies"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a press conference on Sunday that New York is struggling to maintain medical supplies while combatting the novel coronavirus — operating "literally" on a "day-to-day" basis.

Why it matters: New York City has become an epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, facing mass quarantines and stay-at-home orders. Cuomo said Saturday that New York reported 630 new deaths in 24 hours — an "all-time increase" that beat the previous day's record of 562 deaths.

Illinois governor: "The president does not understand the word 'federal'"

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that President Trump's comments about the federal government's stockpile of medical equipment suggest he "does not understand the word 'federal.'"

Why it matters: White House adviser Jared Kushner argued at a press briefing last week that the "notion of the federal stockpile was it’s supposed to be our stockpile; it’s not supposed to be state stockpiles that they then use."