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The Paso Del Norte International Bridge between El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez. Photo: Justin Hamel/AFP via Getty Images

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., ordered the Trump administration on Wednesday to stop the expulsion of migrant children who cross the border alone — a policy enabled by a March emergency order by the Centers for Disease Control because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: As of September, nearly 9,000 unaccompanied migrant children had been expelled because of the CDC order.

What they're saying: "Today’s ruling is a critical step in halting the Trump administration’s unprecedented and illegal attempt to expel children under the thin guise of public health," ACLU's Lee Gelernt, the lead attorney in the case, said in a statement.

  • "The administration’s order has already allowed for the rapid expulsion of more than 13,000 children in need of protection, who were legally entitled to apply for asylum."

The big picture: Thousands of migrant children, families and adults from different countries have been sent to Mexico, at times violating a diplomatic agreement with Mexico, the New York Times' Caitlin Dickerson reported.

  • More than 197,00 migrants have been quickly expelled after reaching the border because of the CDC's emergency order, according to CBP data.
  • Before the March order, unaccompanied migrant minors were required to be put in the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which oversees a network of child migrant shelters and seeks to release migrant children to family members or other sponsors who are already in the U.S.

Go deeper

Updated Jan 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden to attempt "emergency economic relief" by executive order

President Biden. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Biden will continue his executive action blitz on Friday, issuing two more orders in an attempt to provide immediate relief to struggling families without waiting for Congress.

Why it matters: In his second full day in office, Biden is again resorting to executive actions as he tries to increase payments for nutritional assistance and protect workers' rights during the pandemic.

21 mins ago - Health

CDC mask guidance sparks confusion, questions

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The CDC's surprise guidance last week freeing the fully vaccinated to go maskless sowed plenty of concerns across the country— even earning the Saturday Night Live treatment for all the questions it spurred.

Why it matters: With plenty of Americans still unvaccinated — and without any good way to confirm who has been vaccinated — some experts worry this could put many at increased risk.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

In photos: Israel-Hamas aerial bombardments enter second week

A ball of fire and a plume of smoke rise above buildings in Gaza City as Israeli forces shell the Palestinian enclave, early on May 17. Photo: Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty Images

Israel and Hamas continued aerial bombardments into Monday morning, as fighting entered a second week.

Why it matters: The worst violence in the region since 2014 has resulted in the deaths of 197 people in Gaza, ruled by Hamas, and 10 in Israel. 58 Palestinian children and two Israeli children are among those killed since the aerial exchanges began on May 10, Reuters notes.