SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Title 42, a controversial border policy, enacted at the start of the pandemic is now repealed for good for unaccompanied children crossing the border.
The Center for Disease Control made the decision final after a Texas court ordered the agency to once again expel all migrants crossing the border.
The CDC temporarily stopped expelling unaccompanied children in January of 20-21.
The agency addressed the court's concerns Friday, saying with recent developments in the pandemic, the expulsion of unaccompanied migrant children is no longer needed to protect public health.
Over the course of the pandemic, Customs and Border Protection officers have expelled hundreds of thousands of people under the policy.
"Title 42, it's time to abandon it. I'm glad that part of it is done away with but we could do away with all of it. COVID is the back view mirror now," said Enrique Morones, founder of Gente Unida, a human rights border coalition.
"It's definitely not over but let's move forward with humane border policies."
The CDC says it will have COVID-19 protocols in place for unaccompanied minors such as testing, vaccinations, and medical care.
Those children will not be released from custody until they have been medically cleared, according to the agency.
Morones says he is ready to help the children crossing get to the next stop on their journey and he is hoping to do it along with his program operation teddy bear.
"One of the things I always say is, 'Amor, si se suede.' that means love, yes you can. And you can so everybody loves a teddy bear no matter what age you are," he says while holding up one of the teddy bears he gives to migrant children.
The change to the policy is effective immediately. The CDC says it will review the public health situation again and make any changes it sees fit on March 30.