A federal judge on Thursday ordered the United States government to suspend the immediate return of migrant families who are detained at the border on the grounds of fighting COVID-19.
Magistrate Emmet Sullivan, who gave authorities 14 days to comply with his decision, said there were enough alternative measures to limit the spread of the virus.
It may interest you: Tapachula, the ‘jail’ city for thousands of migrants who want to travel to the US
“Considering the wide availability of tests, vaccines and other health measures, the Court is not convinced that the transmission of covid-19 during border procedures cannot be significantly contained,” he wrote in the lengthy sentence, of some fifty pages.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the government of Republican Donald Trump invoked a health regulation to order the expulsion of all immigrants who entered the United States illegally.
After arriving at the White House, Democrat Joe Biden canceled this practice for unaccompanied minors, but continues to reject families and adults, which has earned him criticism from immigrant advocacy groups, which this Thursday celebrated the Judge Sullivan’s decision.
“President Biden should have long ago ended this cruel and illegal policy, and the court is right to reject it today,” said Omar Jadwat of the influential civil rights organization ACLU.
However, the government, faced with unprecedented migratory flows on the border with Mexico, is likely to appeal the decision.
In August more than 200,000 people were detained at the southern border, including 86,000 who were traveling with their families, according to the latest official figures.
This is the highest figure in 20 years.
Republicans have accused President Biden for months of provoking a “migration crisis” by relaxing the measures of his predecessor.
What we do at Animal Político requires professional journalists, teamwork, maintaining a dialogue with readers and something very important: independence. You can help us to continue. Be part of the team. Subscribe to Political Animal, receives benefits and supports free journalism.
The charge US judge orders suspension of return of migrants to Mexico for measures against COVID appeared first in Political Animal.