Together with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, and Oxfam, in June 2020 we filed the nation’s first legal challenge to the Trump administration’s order restricting immigration based on an unprecedented and unlawful invocation of the Public Health Service Act. The order authorized the summary removal of unaccompanied children without any due process — even if the child is fleeing danger and seeking protection in the United States and shows no signs of having COVID-19. It also authorizes the summary removal of adults seeking protection in the United States.
On June 24, in an oral ruling from the bench, the court agreed that the administration likely exceeded its authority in ordering the expulsion of children and asylum seekers under the public health laws. Accordingly, the court blocked the removal of our client J.B.B.C., a 16-year-old refugee fleeing persecution in Honduras.