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In a Wednesday court hearing, the Biden administration defended Title 42, a controversial policy launched under former President Trump that led border authorities to expel more than 1 million migrants without carefully considering their asylum cases. A Justice Department lawyer asserted the emergency order is still key to controlling COVID-19 transmission at U.S. border facilities. The United Nations refugee agency, as well as immigrant advocates, attorneys, and experts, have criticized the policy. The American Civil Liberties Union sued to end the policy, and a lower court found it likely illegal. CBS News
Harris to Travel to Honduras Next Week
Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Honduras next week for the inauguration of President-elect Xiomara Castro, the Central American country’s first woman president. Harris is visiting to help the U.S. and Honduras work together to boost economic growth, combat corruption, and address the root causes of migration, White House Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said in a statement. President Biden assigned Harris with leading immigration reform at the Southwest border and working with Central American countries to stem migration. Associated Press
Biden Immigration Officials Leaving With Goals Unfulfilled
Two White House officials — Tyler Moran and Esther Olavarria — on the administration’s immigration team are preparing to leave their roles. They had touted bold plans when the Biden Administration took office last year, including a major immigration reform bill, a 100-day deportation moratorium, and a strategy to restore protections for asylum seekers. But a year later, most of those goals remain untouched. Moran and Olavarria’s exits are part of a recent trend of senior staffers leaving the administration, leaving officials more focused on border security in their place. Reuters