Chief Rodney Scott confirmed his agents have expelled unaccompanied migrant children since a judge ordered the practice to stop. A judge ordered border officials to stop citing COVID-19 as reason for expelling migrant children, however, the practice has continued.
According to CBS News, U.S. border officials have expelled at least 66 unaccompanied migrant children since the ruling made by Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Legal filings revealed two top Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials violated Judge Sullivan’s order.
“Defendants regret that class members were expelled contrary to the Court’s injunction and are committed to full compliance with the Court’s injunction going forward,” Justice Department attorneys wrote, according to the report.
As theGrio reported, Judge Sullivan ruled “children without parents must be taken into custody by border officials and taken care of under laws created by Congress while undergoing immigration proceedings.” President Donald Trump and his administration have claimed the expulsions were necessary due to the coronavirus pandemic and would prevent the spread of COVID-19.
According to the news report, since March when the pandemic officially began, officials have sent back migrants at the border who lack proper documentation without following the necessary steps, which include allowing them to speak with an immigration judge or asylum officer. Two hundred thousand summary expulsions occurred before the end of September at the U.S.-Mexico border, 9,000 of them minors without adults present.