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Migrants stand near the border wall after having crossed into the US from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

US immigration wars look ahead to 2024 election

It's been a big week for US immigration politics.

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Graphic of migration statistics and demographics at the US southern border

Luis Vieria, Ari Winkleman

Graphic Truth: The US Border Before, During, and After Title 42

In anticipation of Title 42’s expiration last week, President Joe Biden sent troops to the US-Mexico border to prepare for the 10,000 migrants that officials warned could start crossing the frontier daily when the pandemic-era policy expired. Fearing that the change in policy would significantly restrict access to the border, many migrants swam across dangerous rivers, scaled border walls, and waited in lines thousands of people long to turn themselves in to US border patrol.

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Migrants gather between the primary and secondary border fences


Biden expects chaos at US southern border

After months of political and legal wrangling, the Biden administration will lift Title 42 on Thursday. The pandemic-era immigration policy allowed the US to reject asylum claims on public health grounds.

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Migrants wait to be transported by border patrol to a detention center in Eagle Pass Texas, USA.


White House prepares for migrant surge

The Biden administration is preparing to deploy an additional 1,500 troops to the US southern border for 90 days as it anticipates an influx of migrant arrivals at the US-Mexico border. This comes ahead of next week’s lifting of Title 42, a pandemic-era policy that has allowed the US to refuse to process asylum claims on public health grounds.

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A heavily damaged residential building hit by a Russian missile in the town of Uman, Ukraine.

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Hard Numbers: Russia pummels Ukraine, White House preps for migrant surge, Haiti’s lawlessness, Iranian cleric gunned down, a bad Thai friend

16: At least 16 people were killed Friday when Russia fired dozens of missiles and drones at Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv, far away from the active combat zones. Most of the deaths occurred after projectiles hit a residential building in the central city of Uman.

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Photo composite of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping

Luisa Vieira

What We’re Watching: China’s budding diplomacy, Biden’s border control, Russia’s big plans

What’s next for Russia & China?

Russia and China broadcast their friendship to the world on Wednesday as the West freaked out about the possibility of Beijing turning to arm Moscow’s troops in Ukraine. After meeting Chinese top diplomat Wang Yi in the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin said that strong Russia-China ties are “important for stabilizing the international situation.” (A tad rich coming from the guy who upended geopolitics by invading Ukraine a year ago.) Putin also confirmed that Xi Jinping would visit Moscow for a summit in the coming months. Wang, for his part, clarified that while their famous partnership “without limits” is not directed against any other nation, it certainly should not be subject to external pressure. He said both countries support “multipolarity and democratization of international relations” – in other words, not a US-led liberal international order. Still, no matter what Western governments say, the Chinese are not so willing to break ties with the US and its allies, mainly because Beijing's trade relations are too important. Meanwhile, we wonder whether the current status of the Russia-China relationship — friends with benefits but complicated — will blossom into a marriage (of convenience) or end in a bad breakup. What we know for sure is that China is getting more involved in the Ukraine conflict generally. Learn more here.

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President Joe Biden walks along the border fence during his visit to the US-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas.

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

What We’re Watching: Biden at the border, Three Amigos Summit, China’s reopening

Biden goes to El Paso

President Joe Biden on Sunday visited the US-Mexico border for the first time since taking office and at a time when he's getting flak from all sides for his immigration policies. Biden did the usual stuff: He toured a busy port of entry, walked along the border fence, and met with officials like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who chided the president for taking so long to show up — feeding into the Republican narrative that blames Biden for the surge of migrant arrivals in recent months. But the president has also upset the left wing of his Democratic Party after failing to deliver on many of his promises to undo the Trump administration's harshest immigration curbs — especially by being wishy-washy on ending Title 42, a Trump-era rule that allows US authorities to expel asylum-seekers on public health grounds that the Supreme Court is now sitting on. What's more, last week Biden announced that migrants from Haiti, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela would be required to apply from outside the US and be punished if they don't. While the president is otherwise benefiting from the GOP's civil war in Congress, his immigration headache won't go away anytime soon.

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Former U.S. President Donald Trump at a rally in Conroe, Texas.


What We're Watching: Trump's tax returns set to go public, Japan stuns markets, Biden braces for migrant surge, India raises China alarm

Trump's tax returns set to be released

The House Ways and Means Committee voted yesterday to release Donald Trump's tax returns from 2015-2020 — a move the former president’s team has characterized as a politically motivated attack by Democrats in the House, who are set to lose their majority when the new Congress is sworn in on Jan. 3. It may be days before all the filings go public, but committee members revealed late Tuesday that the IRS failed to audit Trump during his first two years as president. A report issued late Tuesday also highlighted some information from the filings, including that Trump had positive taxable income in 2018 — for the first time in more than 10 years — and paid nearly $1 million in federal income taxes that year. But as of 2020? Trump had reverted to reporting negative income … and paid no federal income tax as a result. Democrats on the committee explained that they carefully followed the law with this vote, invoking a century-old statute, but some Republicans say this could lead to increased use of exposing private tax info for political means.

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