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Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security on Friday announced plans to resume hearings for migrants who are seeking asylum in the U.S., as part of the Migrant Protection Protocols program during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why it matters: The MPP program requires migrants to wait in Mexico until their hearings can be completed. But the coronavirus outbreak has put immigration proceedings on hold since March, forcing hundreds of migrants to camp out at the border in the interim.

  • "To lend greater certainty in a fluid COVID-19 environment, DHS has maintained close contact with the Department of State (DOS) and the Government of Mexico (GOM) and worked with DOJ to identify public health criteria to determine when hearings may resume swiftly and safely," a press release read on Friday.

The state of play: DHS will require stipulations be met for hearings to proceed, including:

  • California, Arizona and Texas advancing to the Phase 3 of their respective re-openings.
  • The Department of State and CDC must lower global health advisories to Level 2, "and/or a comparable change in health advisories, regarding Mexico in particular."
  • The Mexican government's "stoplight" system must categorize Mexican border states as "yellow."

Once criteria are met, the administration will hold socially distanced MPP hearings for those on the backlog, mandating face masks and temperature-checks. The departments will provide public notification at least 15 calendar days before the resumption of hearings with location details, CNN reports.

Go deeper

White House identifies 206 people possibly exposed to COVID at Trump fundraiser

President Trump waves as he boards Air Force One before heading to Bedminster, N.J., for a fundraiser. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The White House has given New Jersey health officials a list of at least 206 people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus at a fundraiser event attended by President Trump in Bedminster last week, the state's department of health tweeted Sunday.

Why it matters: The president has come under criticism for choosing to attend the event at the Trump National Golf Club on Thursday even after close aide Hope Hicks tested positive for the coronavirus.

30 mins ago - World

Sudan's military places civilian prime minister under house arrest

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok during a 2020 news conference in Khartoum, Sudan. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Sudan's civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was put under house arrest and several other ministers were also detained Monday in what appears to be a military coup in the country, per local reports.

Why it matters: The arrests of the civilian faction in the Sudanese government came a day after U.S. envoy Jeffrey Feltman met with the head of the military faction of the Sudanese government General Abdul Fattah al-Burhan and warned him against staging a coup.

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest — triggering widespread power outages and flooding.

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