Oxfam and our partners are celebrating the news that a federal judge has blocked an unlawful order from the Trump administration that has already resulted in the expulsion of at least 13,000 children.
Today, we are celebrating a win for the rights of immigrants and refugees. A district court has blocked the Trump administration from unlawfully using a public health measure to expel thousands of unaccompanied children. Oxfam brought the class-action lawsuit against the Trump administration along with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Texas Civil Rights Project, and the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies. We are proud to be a part of this joint effort to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable.
"This is an enormous win, first and foremost for the thousands of children and their families who will now have the opportunity to find safe haven, but also for who we are as a nation" said Noah Gottschalk, global policy lead at Oxfam America. "Over the last four years, the Trump administration has shamefully turned its back on our country's long legacy as a refuge for people fleeing persecution. Today, we're taking a critical step to begin repairing the damage done by these harmful attacks against our common humanity, and the next step is to rescind the order completely."
Since coming to office, the Trump administration has upended America’s legacy as a refuge for people fleeing persecution and has only doubled down on this xenophobic agenda during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thousands of unaccompanied children have already been expelled without any due process -- even if they were fleeing danger and seeking protection in the United States, and showing no signs of having COVID-19.
"We are thrilled that the court has enjoined this cruel policy, which has placed thousands of vulnerable refugee children in harm's way,” CGRS Director of Litigation Jamie Crook said. “Today's ruling affirms that the Trump administration cannot use the pandemic as a pretext to flout its legal obligations to children fleeing persecution."
“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. 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,” said ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt, the lead attorney in the case.
The administration has been using COVID-19 as an excuse to pursue its anti-immigrant, anti-refugee agenda, but Oxfam and our partners have been fighting this every step of the way.
With today’s victory in court, we are that much closer to restoring the US’ legacy as a safe haven for people fleeing violence and persecution.
Thank you for your ongoing support as we continue to fight to protect the rights of the most vulnerable.