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Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday extended a controversial Trump-era policy that expels migrants to prevent the spread of COVID.

Why it matters: The Biden administration has faced backlash for retaining the Title 42 policy, which allows border officials to turn back migrant families to Mexico without the chance for asylum. The ACLU on Monday asked a court to end the administration's use of Title 42.

  • The Biden administration had planned to end the policy last month but reconsidered as coronavirus cases began to surge due to the Delta variant.
  • In the first half of the year, migrant adults were expelled more than 350,000 times under the order.

What they're saying: "Title 42 is not an immigration authority, but a public health authority, and its continued use is dictated by CDC and governed by the CDC's analysis of public health factors," the CDC said in a statement.

  • "Under Title 42, DHS continues to expel the majority of single adults, and, to the extent possible, families encountered at the Southwest Border," the agency noted.
  • "While we continue to defer to public health experts on decisions related to Title 42, the Biden-Harris Administration continues to work to build a fair, orderly, and humane immigration system, including by expanding lawful pathways to the United States and discouraging irregular migration."

The other side: "The administration said it just needed a little bit of time to repair the damage done to the asylum system by the Trump administration," the ACLU's lead attorney on the case Lee Gelernt told Axios on Monday. "It’s now been seven months and there is no end in sight to the Title 42 policy."

Worth noting: Mexican officials have resisted the continuation of Title 42, while two prominent advocacy groups have stopped working with the Biden administration on humanitarian exceptions over concerns about the policy, AP reports.

Go deeper

Oct 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden admin releases first national strategy to promote gender equality

President Biden with Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House in August 2021. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Biden administration on Friday released a 42-page plan to promote gender equality at home and abroad — the first national strategy of its kind.

Why it matters: Women in the U.S. and around the world dealt with an unequal playing field before the coronavirus pandemic exacerbated many of the issues they face, potentially reversing years of progress.

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.