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.”
The change was announced shortly before a court order was to take effect that would have allowed the Biden administration to expel unaccompanied children seeking asylum under Title 42 authority, which was introduced in March 2020 to prevent spread of COVID-19. The order remains in place for adults and families traveling with children.
Testing and other preventive measures allow children traveling alone to be released to sponsors in the United States, the CDC said. Sponsors are typically family or other close relatives.
A federal judge ruled in a lawsuit by the state of Texas that the CDC failed to explain why children traveling alone were exempted from Title 42, and gave the administration a week to appeal. Instead, the CDC lifted the order — but only for unaccompanied children.
Migrants have been expelled more than 1.6 million times under Title 42, named for a 1944 public health law. Biden has kept the order in place but exempted unaccompanied children during his first days in office.
Prominent Democrats and advocacy groups have been pressing to end Title 42 for all migrants. “It is not a humane or effective solution to securing our border,” U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, tweeted on Friday.
More Must-Read Stories From TIME
- Meet the Foreign Volunteers Risking Their Lives to Defend Ukraine—and Europe
- Researchers Are Getting Closer to Understanding Long COVID. But Treatments Are Still Likely a Ways Off
- How Volodymyr Zelensky Defended Ukraine and United the World
- The Families of George Floyd and Rodney King Didn’t Ask to Be Part of History—But They Know They Are
- Introducing TIME’s Women of the Year 2022
- The New Batman Is Deeply Unsettling. The Director Says That’s the Point
- Why Most Crypto Backers Are Thrilled That the Biden Administration Is Wading Into Digital Currency
- How South Korea’s Yoon Suk-yeol Capitalized on Anti-Feminist Backlash to Win the Presidency
Contact us at [email protected]