WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Since March, the Trump Administration has blocked asylum seekers from entering the US, including children who arrive alone. This week a federal judge struck ordered the administration to stop expelling those children who arrive alone.
Charanya Krishnaswami with Amnesty International said that since March the Trump Administration cited the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason to expel thousands of children, as well as adults and other asylum seekers.
The judge “ruled that the expulsions of unaccompanied children are unlawful,” she said. “Some are being sent to Mexico, some are being rapidly repatriated to their countries of origin, but the common thread is that they’re not getting any due process at all.”
The court ruling only stops the administration from deporting unaccompanied children. In a statement, the Department of Homeland Security said it hopes to overturn that order.
“An activist judge has demanded that illegal aliens be introduced into the United States in the tens of thousands, spread across the country on planes and buses and cause the overflow of community hospitals, particularly at the border,” DHS spokesperson Chase Jennings said.
Amnesty International said US public health officials have spoken out against the expulsions.
Krishnaswami said US law makes it clear that seeking asylum is not illegal.
“This is not doing anything to stop the spread of COVID,” she said. “It is laser-targeted against two populations that the administration has tried to keep out of the United States.”