The Trump administration was eager to depart all the migrants from the US Mexico border ever since the covid-19 pandemic started in the early months of this year. However, several human rights activists were against the deportation of migrant children who are not accompanied by parents and are other people.
A federal judge in Washington DC has now barred the administration from reporting any more migrant children who came by themselves. The administration kept them in hotels and other temporary covid-19 facilities to stop the spread of the pandemic in two other regions of the US. The Trump administration was eager to send them back without proper enquiry and without offering them any legal assistance.
The department of Homeland security was given an order by the federal court to stop the expelling of unaccompanied migrant children. This was given through an emergency order published by the CDC.
The emergency order used by the Trump administration allowed the authorities to hold migrant children in custody. Apart from that, the migrant children were also held in hotels and several other covid-19 facilities in the border states of Texas and Arizona. Due to this reason, they were not given the possibility to seek Asylum to get any sort of legal assistance that is often provided for unaccompanied minors in the US.
Several groups filed lawsuits against the Homeland security department in August. They argued that the public health provisions under title 42 do not authorise the expansion of migrants, especially children who are not accompanied by parents or elders.
The latest ruling is a critical step that will stop the Trump administration from illegally deporting children by giving the reason for public health concern. Recently, the authorities had allowed for Rapid expulsion of more than 13000 children in the border region.
The latest ruling applies to only unaccompanied minors and not to the children who travelled to the US Mexico border with a parent. In every other case, the migrants can be subjected to expulsion under the title 42 provisions.
The Federal government has so far expelled more than 200 thousand migrants in this manner using the CDC recommendations since March this year. However, this does not include the statistics from October as the authorities do not yet receive the latest reports.
The Homeland security and Justice departments did not comment on whether they would appeal against the latest ruling given by the federal court. They had earlier argued that the government had the authority to block the entry of migrants to contain the spread of communicable diseases like covid-19. These recommendations were also given by the CDC, and the Trump administration used it effectively to expel several migrant children from the US Mexico border.
The DHS had said that it is important to contain the migrants in this manner so that the health of the security officials at the border and the American public is safe during the pandemic. They had argued in court that if migrants are kept at permanent holding facilities during this pandemic, it can be very difficult to contain the outbreak in several border states of the US.
As per the US law, the Federal government is supposed to provide special protection for unaccompanied minors who arrive at the US Mexico border. Such children should be placed in proper rehabilitation facilities and provided with suitable Healthcare. Even though many of the Shelters for unaccompanied minors had sufficient place during the pandemic, the immigration officials decided to place them in separate covid-19 facilities and hotel rooms till the time they were expelled without any legal assistance.
Activists who filed the case against the Trump administration argue that the government used the CDC guidelines to their advantage during the pandemic. Shadow system was used by the administration that did not have any accountability and protection for children who are not accompanied by parents. Civil rights activists said that they would continue to fight against such moves by the administration in future.
If the government decides to appeal against the latest ruling by the court, the case could get carried over into the administration of Biden. Biden had earlier said that he would review the restrictive immigration policies in future and look in two other ways to handle the crisis. Civil rights activists hope that the new administration will do something better for the immigrants in future.