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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's signature issue is back in the spotlight less than three weeks before Election Day, with surging arrests at the border and a high-profile caravan on the way from Honduras.

Why it matters: The Trump administration's severe measures to deter border crossings don't appear to be working.

Roughly 4,000 Honduran migrants are now in Guatemala, heading north, NBC News reports.

  • "Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Mexico to meet with his counterparts on Friday, where plans to stop the caravan will be a 'prominent' topic of discussion," they report.
  • Trump has personally threatened aid to Honduras if they don't stop the caravan, which is no longer within its borders.

Between the lines: "Border Patrol agents arrested 16,658 family members in September, the highest one-month total on record and an 80 percent increase from July," the Washington Post reports.

  • If accurate, that's more than a 50% jump from last year, which was already an outlier.
  • "In September, U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended more than 41,400 undocumented immigrants, up from 37,544 in August," NBC News reports.

The big picture: Even if Trump reinstated a form of family separation in an attempt to deter migrants, they would overwhelm Health and Human Services. The agency already struggles to house and care for more than 13,000 migrant children.

P.S. Nancy Pelosi yesterday: “It happens to be like a manhood issue for the president, building a wall, and I’m not interested in that..."

  • “We can’t allow him to say we’re not interested in protecting the border... That isn’t the only way to protect the border. In fact, it’s probably the worst way to protect the border.”

The bottom line: After two very abnormal years in politics, the stakes from November look increasingly familiar ... taxes, health care and immigration.

Go deeper: Trump's kids crisis gets worse

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Go deeper

Del Rio bridge camp empty following Haitian migrant surge

A boy bathes himself in a jug of water inside a migrant camp at the U.S.-Mexico border on Sept. 21 in Del Rio, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The last migrants camping under the Del Rio International Bridge, which connects Texas and Mexico, departed on Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced during a White House press briefing.

Driving the news: Thousands of migrants, mostly from Haiti, had arrived to the makeshift camp after crossing the southern border seeking asylum. Roughly 1,800 migrants will now head to U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing centers.

White House says it expects federal contractors to be vaccinated by Dec. 8

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House said in new guidance Friday that it expects millions of federal contractors to be vaccinated against the coronavirus no later than Dec. 8.

Why it matters: Companies with federal contractors have been waiting for formal guidance from the White House before requiring those employees to get vaccinated, according to Reuters.

CDC director maintains Pfizer booster recommendation for high-risk workers

Rochelle Walensky listens during a confirmation hearing on July 20. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky on Friday reiterated her decision to go against a recommendation by a CDC advisory panel that refused to endorse booster shots for workers whose jobs put them at high risk for contracting COVID-19.

Driving the news: "Our healthcare systems are once again at maximum capacity in parts of the country, our teachers are facing uncertainty as they walk into the classroom," Walensky said at a Friday briefing. "I must do what I can to preserve the health across our nation."