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Migrants wearing T-shirts that read "Biden, please let us in" kneel and pray at the border crossing in Mexico, San Ysidro. Photo: Stringer/picture alliance via Getty Images

100,441 people attempted to cross into the U.S. along the Southwest border last month, a 28% increase since January, Customs and Border Protection senior official Troy Miller told reporters in a Wednesday call.

Why it matters: President Biden faces a mounting humanitarian crisis at the border, as children are being held for days in border stations and more migrants flee political oppression and economic devastation.

Where it stands: More than 9,400 of those stopped were unaccompanied minors, up from 5,800 unaccompanied minors stopped in January, per the New York Times.

  • The Centers for Disease Control recently allowed shelters handling child migrants to expand to full capacity, abandoning a requirement that they stay near 50% to inhibit the spread of the coronavirus.
  • Border crossings have been on the rise since April 2020, a CBP official on the call said.

What they're saying: Miller cited rising coronavirus infections in South and Central America, unemployment, rising violence and economic instability as driving greater numbers of migrants to the border.

  • “If you put all those issues together, you’re going to see folks that are looking for a better way of life," he said.

Go deeper: Why migrants are fleeing their homes for the U.S.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

North Korea claims latest missile test new weapon launched from submarine

North Korean state media claims the country's military fired this missile on Tuesday. Photo: Korean Central News Agency

North Korean state media announced that a detected ballistic missile launch off its east coast on Tuesday was a newly developed weapon test-fired from a submarine.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches into the sea happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.

The China whisperer

Nick Burns. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee for ambassador to China will face aggressive questioning Wednesday about the most important, and potentially perilous, bilateral relationship in the world.

Why it matters: While Nick Burns is an experienced diplomat with support on both sides of the aisle, lawmakers want to use his confirmation hearing to force the administration into some tough positions on China.