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Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday afternoon that instructs the Justice Department to appeal a 2015 court ruling in order to allow family migrants to be detained together until deported or granted asylum — but it doesn't change much right now.

Big picture: Nothing will change unless the Flores Agreement ruling is actually modified. As of right now, families are only permitted to be held in detention together for up to 20 days, Gene Hamilton, counselor to the Attorney General, told reporters on a phone call shortly after the signing. It is unclear whether DHS will immediately begin detaining families together for at least those 20 days.

Be smart: This also does nothing about Attorney General Jeff Sessions' "zero-tolerance" policy. Parents will still be criminally prosecuted for crossing the border illegally, but they may now be permitted to remain with their children in detention until their hearing.

What it could look like: This attempt to unwind the Trump administration's own child separation policy would do so by keeping children in detention centers with their parents indefinitely. The Obama administration widely used family detention centers during the height of border crossings from Central America around 2014, but faced overwhelming criticism due to overcrowding and poor conditions in these facilities.

Details:

  • The order asks the Justice Department to prioritize criminal cases against parents who have crossed the border illegally.
  • It asks the Department of Defense by opening any existing facilities or building new ones.
  • It also asks that the heads of all executive agencies help by provide housing for immigrant families as the adults wait their criminal court hearings.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 min ago - World

Schiff: "Definitive" Khashoggi report sends clear message to Saudis

Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

The report released Friday on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was short on evidence or new information, but Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) tells Axios that the “definitive” statement assigning responsibility to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) speaks volumes.

What he’s saying: Schiff, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, says that while some intelligence couldn’t be published because of the need to protect sources and methods, “we rarely see something published that is this definitive and I think that's an important accomplishment for the administration.”

5 mins ago - Health

FDA advisory panel endorses Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Cezary Kowalski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday recommended the authorization of Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot coronavirus vaccine for emergency use.

Why it matters: The FDA is expected to make a final decision within days on the J&J vaccine, which was found to be 66% effective against moderate to severe COVID. An emergency use authorization would allow distribution to immediately begin, helping streamline and speed up the vaccine rollout across the U.S.

Exclusive: Law enforcement organizations back Biden pick for assistant AG

Vanita Gupta Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Local and federal law enforcement officials are backing Vanita Gupta, President Biden’s nominee for associate attorney general, according to letters sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee and obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The Major County Sheriffs of America noted Gupta “emphasized that she does not support efforts to ‘defund the police'” and highlighted her desire to improve criminal justice through methods that include increased training for law enforcement officials.