CDC To Stop Using COVID as Excuse To Expel Unaccompanied Immigrant Minors

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention AnnoucedIt is removing a part of an immigration-related pandemic health order, which required that the Department of Homeland Security expel unaccompanied migrants. 

Trump’s 2020 Pandemic Health order was created Title 42Under this law, Customs and Border Protection officials (CBP), must expedite migrants who cross the Canadian and Mexican border under the pretense of stopping the spread COVID-19. The southern border is where most of the expulsions take place. There have been more than 400,000 Title 42 expulsions this year, compared with 5,421 at the northern border.

Title 42 is against the U.S. asylum laws that allow people to enter the U.S. for asylum claims. The Biden will be dissolved in June 2021. The administration decided to exempt unaccompanied minorsExpulsion. However, the Texas government sued for exemption. U.S. District Court for the Northern District of TexasIn favor of the State. It was determined by the court that unaccompanied minors cannot be exempted from the expulsion orders by the Biden administration. The court ruled that the Biden administration could not exempt unaccompanied minors from the expulsion orders. This was in response to the decision. The CDC made the decisionTo get rid of this portion of Title 42 completely. 

Based on CBPFrom October 2021 through February 2022, 58.503 minors traveled by themselves across U.S. border. Many flee persecution and violence back home. Human Rights First reports that a 17-year old boy fled Mexico after being threatened by cartel members. In the same report, another 17-year-old fled Mexico after being threatened with similar death threats. 2020 Human Rights First tracked 1,114 violent attacksTitle 42: Migrants sent over the Mexican border to be resuscitated. 2,65 of the 1,114 incidents were child kidnappings. Human Rights First, 2020 has found that DHS had expelled as many as 1,000 minors unaccompanied within six weeks of Title 42’s introduction.

One documented caseCBP expelled unaccompanied minors aged 12 and 15, from Ciudad Juarez in Mexico. These two minors, aged 12 and 15, were abandoned by their parents. They were then left to their own devices until Juarez child welfare picked them up. 

Taylor LevyAn immigration lawyer in Texas says that she hopes the Biden Administration and the CDC will revoke Title 42 and permit everyone to seek asylum, including minors.

“I welcome the CDC’s decision, and I am happy the Biden administration took these steps…,” Levy tells Reason,But it isn’t enough. 

A second immigration court case prompted the CDC to decide not to expel migrant children but to suspend Title 42. The American Civil Liberties Union has a case. U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia Circuit ruled, however that the U.S. government couldn’t expel migrant family members to areas where they would face torture and persecution. The opinion was written by Judge Justin Walker. He also stated that Title 42 did not protect against COVID-19, and it wasn’t clear if the health order was of any use. 

According to the CDC, there is no COVID-19 threat that can be mitigated by removing unaccompanied minors. As a protection, the CDC points out that vaccination rates and common virus testing among workers are sufficient. 

However, the Biden administration hasn’t officially stated whether or not it will end Title 42. According to Buzzfeed News,Top officials from DHS intend to terminate Title 42 in April.