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.


  • 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.

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Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 12,859,834 — Total deaths: 567,123 — Total recoveries — 7,062,085Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,297,501— Total deaths: 135,155 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — NYC reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since pandemic hit.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Scoop: How the White House is trying to trap leakers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. "Meadows told me he was doing that," said one former White House official. "I don't know if it ever worked."

Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak.

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.