ATLANTA — Unaccompanied child migrants trying to enter the United States will no longer be denied a chance to seek asylum under new guidance announced by U.S. health authorities.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in announcing the change late Friday night, said “that expulsion of unaccompanied noncitizen children is not warranted to protect the public health.”
Shortly before a court order to go into effect, the change was made. This would have permitted the Biden administration expel unaccompanied child asylum seekers under Title 42 authority. Title 42 legislation was created in March 2020 to combat COVID-19. For adults traveling with their children, the order is still in effect.
According to the CDC, testing and other preventive actions allow children who are traveling on their own to be released to sponsors in the United States. Sponsors typically come from the family, or are close to relatives.
Federal Judge ruled against Texas in a suit. He found that the CDC had failed to provide adequate explanations for why unaccompanied children were not exempted under Title 42. Administration was given a week to appeal. Instead, the CDC lifted the order — but only for unaccompanied children.
Title 42 was named after a 1944 health law and has seen more than 1.6million migrants expelled. Biden kept the order intact, but exempted unaccompanied kids during his first day in office.
Advocate groups and prominent Democrats have been pushing to repeal Title 42, which applies to all immigrants. “It is not a humane or effective solution to securing our border,” U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, tweeted on Friday.