The Trump administration’s Stephen Miller-pushed public health order that has now resulted in the deportation of hundreds of migrant children back to possible danger is now facing its first court challenge, CNN reports. Advocacy groups including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have sued the administration over its attempt to deport a 16-year-old boy who fled Honduras after witnessing a gang murder, the report said.
The detained teen continues to remain in the U.S. only because a federal judge has temporarily halted his deportation amid the litigation. Advocates are now calling on the court to allow the boy the chance to stay here, and give other kids a chance by halting Miller’s inhumane order. “Unaccompanied migrant children have been afforded certain protections under US law, but new border measures have undercut those protections, attorneys argue in the complaint,” CNN continued in the report.
Under Miller’s order, which was implemented under the guise of a pandemic response, more than 900 children have been deported since March. “Some young migrants have been deported within hours of setting foot on American soil,” The New York Times reported last month. “Others have been rousted from their beds in the middle of the night in U.S. government shelters and put on planes out of the country without any notification to their families.”
One of those children was nearly “J.B.B.C.,” the 16-year-old boy from the litigation launched by the ACLU, the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, and Oxfam America.
“He witnessed a gang member murder a young man,” court documents stated according to CBS News. “Gang members then came to the store where his aunt worked, and where J.B.B.C. also helped, threatening him and ordering that the store had to close. Another relative was also beaten by gang members near where J.B.B.C. lived. J.B.B.C was terrified to leave the house after these events, even to go to school. The threat of persecution and torture to J.B.B.C. is imminent and real,” documents continued.
This is who the administration is trying to deport, supposedly out of public health concerns—and in complete violation of U.S. asylum law, experts have said. In one letter criticizing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert R. Redfield, public health leaders said: “The nation’s public health laws should not be used as a pretext for overriding humanitarian laws and treaties that provide life-saving protections to refugees seeking asylum and unaccompanied children.”
Miller is hellbent on exploiting the pandemic for as long as he can as his boss continues to insist the pandemic is nothing to worry about anymore because he misses his cheering, adoring crowds and is worried about his reelection prospects. And not only has Miller’s supposedly temporary order been extended indefinitely, he’s reportedly eyeing even more immigration restrictions, again supposedly out of pandemic concerns.
Right. The reality is that this is part of a white supremacist agenda that’s intent on killing brown children. It’s hoping that with many of the other concerns facing Americans, from police violence to continued COVID-19 infections, we all don’t really notice what’s happening the border—or just don’t care. But we must not forget what’s happening to these kids, advocates say.
“They’re sort of sight unseen at this point, but these are little children, fearing for their lives, fighting for their lives,” ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt told CBS News. “The administration is hoping that everyone doesn’t pay attention given everything that’s going on.”
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