Federal judge blocks Biden administration from deporting migrant families under public health order

In a long-awaited ruling, District of Columbia District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan acknowledged the ruling would force the government to make tough decisions, but determined there were enough steps that could be taken to mitigate the spread. of Covid-19.

“But given the wide availability of tests, vaccines and other minimization measures, the court is not convinced that the transmission of COVID-19 during border processing cannot be significantly mitigated. Indeed, the government has successfully implemented mitigation measures with regard to treating unaccompanied minors in order to minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19, ”the decision said.

The order takes effect only after 14 days. The Biden administration has relied on the pandemic-related public health order to turn back adults and families apprehended at the southern U.S. border. Unaccompanied children remain exempt from the policy.

In August, more than 70,000 migrant families were allowed to enter the United States, while about 16,000 were deported, according to US Customs and Border Protection data.

Biden has been criticized by immigrant advocates who argued that the policy, implemented under the Trump administration, betrayed the country’s position to welcome asylum seekers and by Republicans who claimed abrupt changes in the immigration policy had fueled migration to the north.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

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