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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McConnell: Senate has "more than sufficient time" to process Supreme Court nomination

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a floor speech Monday that the chamber has "more than sufficient time" to confirm a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election, and accused Democrats of preparing "an even more appalling sequel" to the fight over Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Why it matters: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said "nothing is off the table next year" if Republicans push ahead with the confirmation vote before November, vowing alongside Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to use "every procedural tool available to us to ensure that we buy ourselves the time necessary."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 p.m. ET: 31,120,980 — Total deaths: 961,656— Total recoveries: 21,287,328Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 p.m. ET: 6,819,651 — Total deaths: 199,606 — Total recoveries: 2,590,671 — Total tests: 95,108,559Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  5. Business: Unemployment concerns are growing.
  6. World: "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Democrats on Monday released their proposal for short-term legislation to fund the government through December 11.

Why it matters: This is Congress' chief legislative focus before the election. They must pass a continuing resolution (CR) before midnight on Oct. 1 to avoid a government shutdown — something both Hill leaders and the White House have claimed is off the table.