Stephen Miller-pushed pandemic order has resulted in the deportation of hundreds of migrant kids

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As we recently noted, Miller had long been itching for a public health crisis as a pretext to implement more of his racist agenda—and he got his wish in COVID-19, “invoking a 1940s-era public health law” that the administration “believes allows border officials to bypass asylum, immigration and anti-trafficking laws” due to supposed pandemic concerns, CBS News continues. In other words, stomping on law via executive fiat to deport vulnerable kids to possible death.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement, the agency that’s normally tasked with holding children who come to the U.S. alone, has already seen a horrific shift in numbers, the report said. “Before the worst weeks of the pandemic, the office was getting as many as 77 migrant minors on a given day. Since the order’s implementation, especially in April, daily referrals from border officials have hovered around the single digits. On some days, the agency has not received any minors.”

According to the report, nearly 1,650 kids are currently in U.S. custody, a low “not seen since late 2011, according to an administration official,” the report said. That number isn’t due to the kindness of the administration’s heart, but rather court rulings that have ordered officials to release kids to sponsors as quickly and as safely as possible. Federal legislators have also pushed for their release, writing “Children are some of the most vulnerable among us, and we must fulfill our moral and legal obligations to protect their health and safety. These conditions are dangerous for any individual in detention—let alone vulnerable children in our care.”

At least children who have been released to families here might stand a chance, unlike kids that were quickly deported by themselves. María fears for her life if she returns to Honduras, but she’s also in fear for her son. She’s now thinking of leaving the Mexican camp were many other asylum-seekers have been forced to wait out their cases and going home. “Yes, I’m scared to go back—but my son is there now,” she told CBS News. 

“The administration is using coronavirus and the pandemic as a cover for doing what it has always wanted to do, which was to close the border to children,” Jennifer Nagda of the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights said in the report. “There is no reason why unaccompanied children arriving at the border can’t be safely screened and transferred to ORR custody, where capacity is at an all-time low.”