Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Federal Judge Prohibits the Deportation of Unaccompanied Minors

As of Wednesday, Federal District Judge, Emmet Sullivan, ruled that the Trump administration can no longer continue to deport unaccompanied minors without due process. This order only applies to  minors, not adults who are seeking asylum or other forms of protection. The administration has been doing this since March 2020 when it invoked a Title 42 order to turn back migrants to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The case was brought up by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), The Texas Civil Rights Project, The Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, and Oxfam, a global coalition of charity organizations. When interviewed, Karla Marisol Vegas, senior attorney with the Texas Civil Rights Project, expressed that “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”

Since Title 42 was invoked, at least 13,000 unaccompanied children have been removed from the country. The children were either deported to Mexico or their countries of origin. Before the order, minors who turned themselves  to Border Patrol after crossing the border were processed by federal agents and put in custody in the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

The number of unaccompanied minors who were crossing the border reached record levels under the Obama Administration in 2014. Even though, the numbers considerably decreased in the last few years, it was still considered high numbers under the Trump Administration which created a ‘tent city’ in Tornillo, Texas 2018 to house young migrants.

This ruling is the second setback for President Trump’s immigration policies in less than a week.

The Texas Tribune

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