Story at a glance

  • U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan on Wednesday issued a preliminary injunction in a class-action lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security.
  • In March, the Trump administration issued an emergency declaration, citing COVID-19, that allowed the federal government to send migrants back to Mexico or their home countries within hours of being detained and without providing the opportunity to request asylum.
  • At least 8,800 unaccompanied children have been deported since March.

A federal judge has ordered the Trump administration to stop deporting immigrant children who have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border alone, according to The Associated Press (AP)

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan on Wednesday issued a preliminary injunction in a class-action lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security. The injunction was sought by legal groups suing on behalf of children the federal government tried to deport before they could request asylum or other protections, AP reports. 


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The order only applies to the deportation of children who cross the border without a parent. 

In March, the Trump administration issued an emergency declaration, citing the coronavirus, that allowed the federal government to send migrants back to Mexico or their home countries within hours of being detained, and without providing the opportunity to request asylum. Others have been detained in holding facilities or hotels for days or weeks. 

At least 8,800 unaccompanied children have been deported since March. Nearly 200,000 people including parents and children traveling together have been expelled since March, AP reports. 

The Trump administration has justified the rule by arguing it’s meant to protect border authorities and those in immigration custody from becoming infected with the coronavirus. Opponents of the policy say the administration is using the health crisis to unlawfully restrict immigration. 

The Department of Justice has yet to say whether it would appeal the judge’s order. 


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Published on Nov 18, 2020