Immigrant rights advocates Friday denounced a federal judge’s injunction The U.S. President Joe Biden administration was prevented from lifting Title 42. This Trump-era public order of health that both presidents invoked under the pretext the Covid-19 pandemic to deport around 2 million asylum-seekers, is being blocked.
Judge Robert Summerhays of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana — an appointee of then-President Donald Trump — concurred with 24 Republican-controlled states’ assertion that the Biden administration’s decision to terminate the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rule “violates the Administrative Procedures Act” because it “failed to consider the effects of a Title 42 termination on immigration enforcement and the states.”
Tami Goodlette, director of litigation at the immigrant legal aid group RAICES, called the judge’s decision “both infuriating and unlawful.”
“President Biden could have ended Title 42 and all of Trump’s inhumane and immoral policies as soon as he took office in January 2021 with the flick of a pen,” she continued, “but instead, he surrounded himself with centrist advisers who coddled his fears on immigration reform and embraced deterrence as their central priority on immigration.”
“Now, the anti-immigrant right-wing agenda continues to fly forward unchecked and immigrants seeking safety and asserting their legal right to asylum will continue to pay the price,” Goodlette added.
Today, a Louisiana federal judge issued a preliminary injunction. #Title42—a policy that indiscriminately rejects Black, brown and Indigenous asylum seekers. This is unfair, racist, and arbitrary!
Check out our full statement https://t.co/nCwDAQy396 pic.twitter.com/3RL0mosQtX
— ALIANZA AMERICAS (@ALIANZAAMERICAS) May 20, 2022
The Justice Department said it would appeal the ruling, citing the CDC’s “expert opinion that continued reliance” on Title 42 “is no longer warranted.”
First implemented by the Trump administration in March 2020 at the pandemic’s onset, Title 42 — a provision of the Public Health Safety Act allowing the government to prohibit entry into the U.S. of people who could pose health risks — was continued by Biden.
More Title 42 removals have occurred during Biden’s tenure than Trump’s, although rights groups welcomed A March announcement by the White House that it would end the policy on May 23,
Opponents of the move reacted last month by moving a bill by Sen. James Lankford (D-Okla.) — and co-sponsored by right-wing Democrats including Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) — to codify Title 42.
“If Congress locks Title 42 into law, what we’re really talking about is creating an asylum system that selectively doles out protection for certain groups, while keeping out Black and Brown people,” Helena Olea, associate director of programs at Alianza Americas, said In a statement
Millions of people were evacuated under Title 42 during the pandemic. People flee violence, famine and war. They have been abandoned by our nation, plain and simple.
We cannot allow Title 42, which is a public policy in health, to continue to ignore immigration law.https://t.co/fmW5OjHVew
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) May 20, 2022
Human rights advocates claim Title 42 puts legal asylum seekers in the United States in dangerous situations at Mexican border cities. Human Rights First is responsible for this situation. identified Nearly 10,000 people have been attacked violently by migrants.
“Beyond the devastating humanitarian impact of Title 42, the court’s ruling also fails to recognize well-established domestic and international law,” said Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. “Seeking asylum is a legal right, and yet this bedrock of the American legal system is quickly eroding at a time of unprecedented need.”
“The decision undermines the Biden administration’s efforts to implement what the vast majority of Americans support — a fair, humane, and orderly immigration system,” she added. “Instead, it maintains a status quo that has been wholly ineffective in establishing a secure border. Only the coyotes profiteering off of people seeking protection have reason to celebrate this ill-reasoned ruling.”
The court decision stopping the end of Title 42 is harmful, & usurps @CDCgov authority. It was wrong when CDC ordered it, & it is wrong now, but it is up to @POTUSWhen the order should be rescinded. I stand by this administration & hope they will fight to end this cruel policy. https://t.co/69DB8hYrbx
— Congressman Chuy García (@RepChuyGarcia) May 20, 2022
Some activists have pointed to the government’s open arms to Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion as proof that Title 42 is motivated more by racism than by public health concerns, although Ukrainian refugees have also been denied entry The rule allows entry into the United States.
“The outpouring of support for Ukrainians shows that should the U.S. government muster the political will, it is possible to manage large numbers of asylum-seekers at the border in an orderly and humane way,” asserted Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Americas. “Nonwhite asylum-seekers and migrants also need a humanitarian response. Instead, we are deporting them in chains.”
Olea contended that “Title 42 was never about protecting public health. It was about eliminating the possibility of asylum for people who cross the border by foot, fleeing instability and violence resulting from multiple factors, including U.S. policies.”
BREAKING: A federal judge has issued an injunction in Louisiana and has blocked the May 23rd end of #Title42allowing this racist policy continue to be in place and supporting the continuation family separations, trauma and violence against Black, Brown, and immigrant community.
— AFSC (@afsc_org) May 20, 2022
National Immigration Project executive director Sirene Shebaya warned that “by denying people their right to seek asylum, Title 42 will continue to subject thousands of people to harm every day that it remains in place.”
“Nobody should be complicit in the violence and harm that this policy has produced — not the courts, and not our representatives in Congress,” she continued. “And a group of anti-immigrant states should certainly not be dictating our national border and immigration policy.”
“Despite this devastating court decision, the fight to restore our asylum system is not over,” Shebaya vowed. “We will continue working relentlessly with our partners to bring an end to this unlawful policy and welcome everyone with dignity.”