NBC News

A federal judge said in a ruling Friday that the Trump administration must “make every effort to promptly and safely release” the minors.

Los Angeles-based U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee said the administration was again violating a longstanding agreement that generally compels the government to release migrant children detained at the border within 20 days.

Plaintiffs represented by the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law alleged the coronavirus crisis has caused further delays in the mandated release of migrant children, who could face increased risk of exposure in government-funded detention.

“This court order could very well prevent hundreds of children from becoming seriously ill with COVID-19 infection, and may even save some children’s lives,” longtime plaintiffs’ attorney Peter Schey said by email.

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