The Biden administration has cancelled any COVID restrictions on unaccompanied minors who illegally enter into the country, the Washington Times reported Saturday.
While minors were originally exempted from an order which allowed illegal immigrants to be expelled from the country without an asylum hearing, a Texas judge had ruled earlier in the month this policy was illegal.
The response by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was to cancel restrictions entirely on minors covered under the policy, known as Title 42.
Under the current policy, roughly half of all illegal immigrants are either sent back to Mexico or to their home country.
“Today, following a public health reassessment, the CDC Director is terminating with respect to unaccompanied noncitizen children an Order under Title 42 suspending the right to introduce certain persons into the United States,” the CDC said in a Saturday statement.
“In effect, this means that unaccompanied noncitizen children will not be expelled from the United States under CDC’s order.”
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky argued that illegal immigrant minors arrested by Homeland Security are transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services.
From there, they’re only released after they’ve been quarantined and tested. This makes them different than either families or single adults, who would be subject to catch-and-release policies.
However, the main difference to the Biden administration seemed to be its belief this would pass legal muster.
“In the current termination, CDC addresses the court’s concerns and has determined, after considering current public health conditions and recent developments, that expulsion of unaccompanied noncitizen children is not warranted to protect the public health,” the CDC’s statement read.
“Because it is not warranted, and in recognition of the unique vulnerabilities of unaccompanied noncitizen children, CDC is immediately terminating the CDC Orders to the extent they apply to them.”
Simply turning an exemption to the policy into a cancellation of it, however, wouldn’t seem to nullify the grounds on which the judge in the case made his decision.
Judge Mark Pittman, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, ruled that while the U.S. Supreme Court had generally put immigration policy out of the hands of the judiciary, this was at a time when it was considered to be a priority of the legislature.
“But for better or worse, these decisions are now decided by individuals within the administrative state with no political accountability,” Pittman wrote in the ruling,.
“And because these administrative decisions are housed in the Executive Branch, all roads — for better or worse — lead back to the President of the United States,” he continued.
“Here, the President has (arbitrarily) excepted COVID-19 positive unaccompanied alien children from Title 42 procedures — which were purposed with preventing the spread of COVID-19.” (Emphasis Pittman’s.)
The Biden administration is still enforcing Title 42 expulsion on single adults and families, something experts say won’t be removed because it could turn the border crisis into something exponentially worse.
As it is now, an average of 365 unaccompanied minors entered illegally into the United States each day this month. Those numbers are down from the beginning of Biden’s administration, when tens of thousands of minors flooded the southern border because of Biden’s Title 42 exemption.