A federal judge ordered the Biden administration on Thursday to stop deporting asylum-seeking families under the Title 42 policy, the unsound public health order implemented by the prior administration that uses the novel coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to expel asylum-seekers quickly, in violation of their rights. The Biden administration announced in August it was continuing the flawed, Stephen Miller-pushed policy.
“The court ruled the plaintiffs were likely to prevail in the case, finding the Title 42 expulsion policy to be in clear violation of U.S. law and recognizing the grave harms suffered by families and children who have been subject to it,” migrant, civil, and human rights groups that sued over the policy said in a statement received by Daily Kos. “The preliminary injunction temporarily halting the policy will take effect in 14 days.”
This is the second time Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has ruled against the anti-asylum Title 42. Last November, he ordered the previous administration to stop deporting kids under the policy, ruling that “unaccompanied migrant children who are taken into custody by border officials must be afforded the safeguards Congress established for them,” CBS News reported at the time.
Despite a campaign pledge to “[t]ake urgent action to undo Trump’s damage and reclaim America’s values,” President Biden continued the use of the anti-asylum Title 42 policy after taking office, eventually agreeing in negotiations stemming from litigation launched by Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), ACLU of Texas, ACLU of the District of Columbia, Texas Civil Rights Project, RAICES, and Oxfam to ease restrictions.
But following the administration’s August decision to continue its enforcement indefinitely, groups were forced to go back to court.
“That the administration has chosen to continue this Trump-era policy, which violates our domestic and international legal obligations to refugees, is a moral failure and an abdication of leadership,” CGRS managing attorney Neela Chakravartula said at the time. In his ruling Thursday, Sullivan wrote, “[t]he Court finds that Plaintiffs have sufficiently shown they will likely suffer irreparable harm absent a preliminary injunction.”
“The court got it right today,” Chakravartula said on Thursday. “The Title 42 policy is as illegal as it is dangerous. The Biden administration’s decision to continue expulsions has fueled violence and chaos at the border and endangered thousands of vulnerable families escaping persecution. It is long past time for this inhumanity to end.”
Numerous other advocacy organizations also urged the Biden administration not to appeal the decision and instead end the policy once and for all, saying such a move will save lives.
“While the Biden administration has exempted unaccompanied children who arrive between official entry points from Title 42, ports of entry remain closed to them, compelling many to make the dangerous decision to enter the United States between ports to access the protection they desperately seek,” Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) president Wendy Young said in a statement received by Daily Kos. “These routes are more risky and more remote, placing children in needless harm and frustrating orderly processing at the border. The administration can and should reopen those ports to unaccompanied children and others seeking protection without delay.”
Human Rights First said in a report last month that it has tracked at least 6,356 acts of violence against asylum-seekers and other migrants who’ve been deported from the U.S. since January. The Human Rights First report further cited a “rare rebuke” by the United Nations, which expressed alarm at the administration’s Title 42 deportation of Central Americans deep into Mexico.
“These expulsion flights of non-Mexicans to the deep interior of Mexico constitute a troubling new dimension in enforcement of the COVID-related public health order known as Title 42,” United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees representative Matthew Reynolds said.
“The Biden administration’s rhetoric on re-establishing a humane and orderly immigration system must match its actions,” Young continued. “Terminating T42 is the only way to align U.S. policy with these goals.” Human Rights Watch’s Clara Long called Sullivan’s decision “huge news” and wrote that “if Title 42 is illegal as applied to families … it’s also just illegal.”
From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.