CDC set to rule this week on Trump-era, pandemic-related asylum restrictions

Ruling will address how U.S. addresses the issue of migrant children at the border.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will issue an order this week on how the U.S. will address the issue of migrant children under the larger public health order that prevents immigrants from seeking asylum in the United States.

The CDC plan was revealed Tuesday by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Stoltz at a court hearing in Fort Worth, Texas, according to the Associated Press.

The health order was put in place by the Trump administration amid the pandemic. And the Biden administration is under pressure from pro-immigration groups to lift the order, considered the last major Trump-era restrictions on asylum at the border.

Stoltz told a federal judge the CDC will release "a new order on the subject of the children" by the end of the week. The order will purportedly revise a Biden administration policy announced in February that exempts unaccompanied children from the asylum ban.

The hearing was related to a lawsuit that Texas brought to compel enforcement of the public health order the Trump administration used to remove recent migrants during the coronavirus pandemic.

Stoltz said the CDC order will essentially render Texas' arguments moot but did not elaborate.

CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said the agency had "nothing more to add right now."

The CDC, in a three-paragraph order signed by its director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, on Feb. 11, exempted unaccompanied children from being expelled to Mexico until “a forthcoming public health reassessment,” which has yet to be published. Texas argues in its lawsuit that the administration’s justification was insufficient, the wire service also reports.