The U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan has ordered Trump’s administration to stop rapidly deporting unaccompanied minors who have illegally crossed the border amid the corona virus pandemic on Wednesday.
the emergency declaration was invoked in march under the Public Health Service Act was challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union, Texas Civil Rights Project, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, and Oxfam.
Trump administration argued in court that it needs to be done to prevent infecting border agents during the pandemic and therefore deported thousands of minors.
CDC Director Robert Redfield wrote in an order saying that it must be done because the illegal migrants “pose a risk of further introducing or spreading COVID-19 into the United States while they are held in the congregate holding areas of [ports of entry] and Border Patrol stations at or near the border.” But the order has been challenged saying that trump’s administration has used pandemic to enforce more stringent immigration policy.
CLU attorney Lee Gelernt, the lead attorney in the case, said in a statement, “Today’s ruling is a critical step in halting the Trump administration’s unprecedented and illegal attempt to expel children under the thin guise of public health. The administration’s order has already allowed for the rapid expulsion of more than 13,000 children in need of protection, who were legally entitled to apply for asylum.”
Before the March order by Trump administration, children who crossed the border alone had been sent to the government operated shelters and could be released to family or other sponsors while seeking asylum.