President Donald Trump used Title 42 to say these children posed a health risk because of COVID-19.
The Trump administration was hit with another blow to its anti-immigration policies after a judge ruled that migrant children cannot be deported without a trial.
A district court today issued an order blocking the application of the Trump administration’s Title 42 policy regarding all unaccompanied children, nationwide, in a class-action lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Texas Civil Rights Project, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, and Oxfam.
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Earlier this year, the Trump administration approved the deportation of undocumented immigrants without access to a trial under Title 42, which deals with Public Health and Welfare due to COVID-19. This new ruling states that Title 42 does not apply to undocumented children.
“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,” ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt, the lead attorney in the case, said in a statement.
The Trump administration has been plowing through attempts to undermine the law as the president’s term comes to an end. In July, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf sought to reject incoming DACA applications, despite the Supreme Court hearing that ruled it should proceed. Another court has since ruled that Wolf implemented that rule unlawfully.
Last month, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents began deporting undocumented immigrants without a trial.
This latest ruling shows that undocumented children are the exception, and cannot be deported without a trial. The class-action lawsuit was filed in August after immigration advocates said the Trump administration policy against migrant children was the “most extreme asylum ban yet.”
“It has taken months and a suit against the government to confirm what we already knew: the Trump administration cannot weaponize a pandemic to destroy long-established protections for children with a shadow system of zero-accountability,” Karla Marisol Vargas, senior attorney with the Texas Civil Rights Project, said in a statement. “We will continue to keep this administration and the next, in check.”