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Biden administration extends migrant expulsion policy

(KYMA, KECY/CNN) - The Biden administration will extend a Trump-era border policy that allows for the swift expulsion of migrants encountered at the US-Mexico border indefinitely, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday, as tens of thousands of migrants continue to cross into the United States monthly.

The public health authority, known as Title 42, was invoked at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and has been criticized by immigrant advocates, attorneys, and health experts who argue it has no health basis and puts migrants in harm’s way.

Since its implementation, more than 940,000 migrants have been swiftly expelled at the US southern border, according to US Customs and Border Protection.

The CDC said it will review the latest information relating to the pandemic and associated public health experts every 60 days.

In a court filing Monday afternoon, a senior Homeland Security official painted a dire picture of what would occur if the public health order were lifted, citing a migrant surge at the US-Mexico border that’s overwhelmed facilities.

David Shahoulian, assistant secretary for border and immigration policy at the Department of Homeland Security, said in a declaration that the US is encountering “record numbers” of migrants, including families.

According to preliminary data, CBP is likely to have encountered about 210,000 individuals in July. That includes an expected record number of unaccompanied children, more than 19,000. Children who cross the US-Mexico border alone are not subject to the policy.

“These encounter rates have strained DHS operations and caused border facilities to be filled beyond their normal operating capacity, impacting the ability to employ social distancing in these congregate settings. At the same time, DHS is also experiencing significantly increased rates of noncitizens testing positive for COVID19,” the declaration reads, arguing that the risk has been increased as a result of the highly transmissible Covid-19 Delta variant.

The US Border Patrol, which has been operating under Covid-19 adjusted capacity, is over capacity in seven of its nine southwest border sectors, according to the declaration.

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Dominique Newland

Dominique joined KYMA in June 2019 as a Sunrise anchor. She was born in New Jersey but raised in Carmel, Indiana.

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