A Honduran mother holds her son after she turned her family in to U.S. Border Patrol agents near Rio Grande City, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Last month a top Health and Human Services Department official testified that almost 1,500 migrant children are unaccounted for after being placed with sponsors by the department.

Why it matters: This comes as the administration is heightening crack down on migrants crossing the border, including the separation of families. Reports about the unaccounted minors have also raised concerns that they could be in the hands of human traffickers or being used as laborers by people who posed as relatives.

How we got here: Acting assistant secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families Steven Wagner, last month told the Senate homeland security subcommittee that the agency learned of 1,475 missing kids after calling to check in with their sponsors.

Who are these children: They had crossed the southern border on their own, fleeing from gang violence and other social ills. There were 4,314 unaccompanied minors who crossed the border just last month and 26,000 since October.

Who are the sponsors: They’re usually parents or family members already residing in the U.S. who should also undergo background check. DHS told the Washington Post that about 85% of sponsors who receive custody of the minors are parents or close family members.

What the administration is saying: HHS officials said it's not the agency's legal responsibility to account for the children once released from its Office of Refugee Resettlement, per the Post. They also said sponsors might have intentionally declined to respond to inquires.

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Updated 44 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 33,867,247 — Total deaths: 1,012,341 — Total recoveries: 23,537,059Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 7,229,319 — Total deaths: 206,887 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
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Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Facebook removes Trump ads tying refugees to COVID-19

Photo Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook said Wednesday that it was removing a series of ads from President Trump's campaign that linked American acceptance of refugees with increased coronavirus risk, a connection Facebook says is without merit.

Why it matters: The ads were pulled after they received thousands of impressions and are a sign that the Trump campaign continues to test the limits of social media rules on false information.

Over 73 million people watched the first debate on TV

Data: Nielsen; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 73.1 million people watched the first presidential debate on television on Tuesday night, according to Nielsen ratings.

Why it matters: While that's a sizable audience for any American TV program, it's down more than 13% from the record number of TV viewers who tuned in for the first debate of the 2016 election. The chaotic nature of the debate and the overall uncertainty around this year's election may have pushed some viewers away.

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