In a major win for asylum-seekers and human rights advocates, a federal judge on Thursday ordered President Joe Biden\u0026#039;s administration to end a Trump-era policy of using Covid-19 pandemic to justify the swift deportation of migrant families.\r\n\r\n\u0022This court order reaffirms our pride in being a nation of refuge, as Congress intended.\u0022\r\n—Cecillia Wang, ACLU\r\n\r\nThe Trump administration first invoked Title 42, a section of the Public Health Safety Act, early last year. Biden has faced global criticism for continuing the policy. After failed negotiations with the Biden administration, advocacy groups that had initially sued while former President Donald Trump was in office resumed their legal challenge to the expulsions last month.\r\n\r\n\u0022President Biden should have ended this cruel and lawless policy long ago, and the court was correct to reject it today,\u0022 Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU\u0026#039;s Immigrants\u0026#039; Rights Project, said in a statement welcoming U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan\u0026#039;s Thursday ruling.\r\n\r\nIn a 58-page ruling, Sullivan agreed that the Title 42 expulsions weren\u0026#039;t supported by federal law. The judge\u0026#039;s order, widely cheered by rights groups, is set to take effect in 14 days.\r\n\r\nPolitico noted Thursday that the Biden administration made its position on the policy clear last month:\r\n\r\n\r\n[The] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an updated order that maintained there is still a public health justification for the Biden administration to continue kicking out migrants. The order can remain in effect indefinitely.\r\n\r\nSullivan\u0026#039;s order applies only to families, meaning the Biden administration can continue to expel single adults arriving at the U.S. southern border. Unaccompanied children have been exempt from being expelled using Title 42.\r\n\r\n\r\nThe Biden administration has not only resisted pressure to end Title 42 expulsions—and deported hundreds of thousands of people—but also announced in July that families who couldn\u0026#039;t be expelled under the policy would be \u0022placed in expedited removal proceedings,\u0022 which rights activists slammed as \u0022vile.\u0022\r\n\r\nCecillia Wang, deputy legal director at the ACLU, pointed out Thursday that \u0022there are so many ways the government can safely permit these families to go through the asylum process, in ways that ensure everyone\u0026#039;s health is protected. Quarantine, testing, and vaccination.\u0022\r\n\r\nWang also took to Twitter to explain portions of Sullivan\u0026#039;s decision, which she called \u0022a beacon of hope\u0022 that \u0022reaffirms our pride in being a nation of refuge, as Congress intended.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe Texas-based group RAICES—which was part of the coalition challenging the \u0022inhumane and unnecessary\u0022 Title 42 policy—similarly applauded the judge\u0026#039;s decision.\r\n\r\n\u0022This is not the end of the battle against this practice,\u0022 RAICES said, \u0022but it is a major step to ensure that the U.S. welcomes these asylum-seeking families—as we should.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSawyer Hackett, executive director of People First Future, a political action committee launched by former Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro, also celebrated the news.\r\n\r\n\u0022We haven\u0026#039;t had a real asylum system for 18 months,\u0022 Hackett said. \u0022This is a huge win for human rights.\u0022\r\n\r\nRefugees International U.S. senior advocate Yael Schacher shared some of the recent consequences of the Biden administration sending asylum-seekers to Mexico and other countries:\r\n\r\n\r\nOn a visit to Reynosa last month, I met a pregnant Honduran woman who was expelled under Title 42 and separated from her husband and son in Houston. Another Honduran woman I met had been raped since being expelled. Others in Reynosa, including a man I met from Tigray, have been waiting for months for a chance to seek asylum at the port of entry.\r\n\r\nBuilding back better means creating a system whereby all asylum-seekers—children, families, and adults—are given a chance to seek protection rather than be returned to danger.\r\n\r\n\r\nSchacher said Biden should accept Thursday\u0026#039;s ruling, issue a new termination memo for the Remain in Mexico policy, reopen ports to asylum-seekers, and \u0022implement a fair system different from that of the previous administration.\u0022\r\n\r\nThis post has been updated with comment from Refugees International.