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Judge Bars U.S. From Deporting Lone Migrant Kids

A federal judge barred the Trump administration from deporting more migrant children who arrived to the U.S.-Mexico border by themselves, chipping away at a policy that U.S. border officials have been using for months to remove quickly more than 200,000 migrants during the COVID-19 pandemic, reports the Arizona Republic. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington, D.C., issued a preliminary injunction on Wednesday ordering the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to stop expelling unaccompanied migrant children using an emergency order published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That policy has allowed U.S. border and immigration officials since March to hold migrant children in custody in facilities or hotels in border states like Texas and Arizona — and then sent to Mexico or other countries without the possibility of seeking asylum and in defiance of court-mandated protections for unaccompanied minors in the U.S. Four groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, sued the U.S., arguing that the public health provisions under Title 42 do not authorize the expulsion or removal of migrants, and especially children. The ACLU’s Lee Gelernt said, “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.”