US ends asylum restrictions for children traveling alone

Unaccompanied migrant children attempting to enter the United States will no longer be denied the opportunity to seek asylum under new guidelines announced by US health officials

The change was announced shortly before a court order took effect that would have allowed the Biden administration to deport unaccompanied children seeking asylum under Title 42, which was introduced in March 2020 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The order remains in place for adults and families traveling with children.

Testing and other preventative measures allow children traveling alone to be released to sponsors in the United States, the CDC said. Sponsors are usually family members or other close relatives.

A federal judge ruled in a lawsuit brought by the state of Texas that the CDC failed to explain why children traveling alone were exempt 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 deported more than 1.6 million times under Title 42, named after a 1944 public health law. Biden kept order in place but exempted unaccompanied children during its early days of mandate.

Prominent Democrats and advocacy groups have pushed to end Title 42 for all migrants. “This is not a humane or effective solution to securing our border,” U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, tweeted on Friday.

ABC News

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