by Kaylee Greenlee
The Biden administration discontinued flights carrying migrant children and family units from one part of the border to another in order to expel them to Mexico, CBS News reported Wednesday.
Advocacy groups criticized the administration for flying migrant families and unaccompanied minors who illegally entered the U.S. through the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas to El Paso, Texas, or San Diego, California, for expulsion to Mexico, according to CBS News.
The Mexican government won’t accept Central American migrant families with children in Tamaulipas after U.S. officials encounter them illegally crossing the border.
Advocates confirmed @latimes last few days lateral flights from Texas to California to expel migrants & asylum seekers in Tijuana had stopped, partly result of pressure in ACLU suit – but DHS hasn't responded to multiple requests for comment. (Good on @camiloreports ) More TK!
— Molly O'Toole (@mollymotoole) May 13, 2021
Advocacy organizations said the flights were inexcusable ways for the Biden administration to implement a Trump-era public health order called Title 42, which allows for the rapid expulsion of migrants under the COVID-19 pandemic, according to CBS News.
The groups said migrant families were detained at Border Patrol facilities before boarding buses or planes for expulsion, CBS News reported. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said he would take “a close look” at the flights on May 4.
“The border is not open and CBP is still operating under Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic,” a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spokesperson told CBS News. “CBP is making every effort to remain within CDC guidelines and mitigate long periods of processing and holding to minimize potential exposure to our workforce, those in custody, and the community.”
Canceling the flights won’t stop U.S. officials from expelling asylum-seeking migrant families to Mexico, according to CBS News. Some migrant families are transported from the Rio Grande Valley to Laredo, Texas, while others who cross around Yuma, Arizona, are taken to San Diego, California, for expulsion to Mexico.
“Several Border Patrol Sectors have seen an increase in encounters. In order to process individuals as safely and expeditiously as possible, other Sectors along the Southwest border are assisting by processing these subjects at their facilities,” CBP said, CBS News reported.
Around 65% of migrant families arriving at the U.S. border were processed under normal immigration laws and allowed to apply for asylum in the U.S., according to CBS News. Most families allowed to seek asylum are tested for COVID-19 and released into local communities where they stay in shelters.
CBP did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
– – –
Kaylee Greenlee is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.