US Judge Blocks Biden Plan to End Title 42 Border Removals | Migration News

Judge issues nationwide injunction barring the US from lifting Title 42, drawing criticism from human rights advocates.

A US judge has blocked the Biden administration’s plan to end a controversial immigration policy that allows US authorities to turn away most asylum seekers who arrive at the country’s southern border with Mexico.

US District Judge Robert Summerhays issued a nationwide injunction Friday barring US President Joe Biden’s administration from lifting the policy known as Title 42. terminated on May 23.

“That means Title 42 is not ending anytime soon,” tweeted Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, senior policy adviser for the American Immigration Council.

The ruling comes after two dozen US states. sued the administration end the use of Title 42 by May 23, arguing that it should remain in place because potential increases in border crossings and other issues were not adequately considered.

The administration of former US President Donald Trump first invoked Title 42 in March 2020 as COVID-19 swept through the country, arguing that its goal was to help prevent the spread of the virus.

But last month, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the measure was “no longer necessary,” and the Department of Homeland Security said it would no longer be used at the border.

More than 1.9 million Title 42 removals have taken place since the restriction was put in place, with the vast majority of asylum seekers quickly removed back to Mexico or their home countries without the possibility of redress. apply for asylum in the US

Human rights advocates and immigration experts have been calling on the Biden administration to end the use of Title 42, which they say violates US and international law and makes asylum seekers already vulnerable. at risk of kidnapping, torture, rape and other acts of violence in Mexico.

Human rights groups denounced Friday’s ruling as an affront to the right to seek asylum.

“This lawsuit only serves to prevent vulnerable families and children facing unspeakable violence, persecution and exploitation from exercising their legal right to seek asylum,” said Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), a resettlement agency. .

“Beyond Title 42’s devastating humanitarian impact, the ruling also fails to recognize well-established national and international law. Seeking asylum is a legal right, and yet this foundation of the American legal system is rapidly eroding in a time of unprecedented need,” Vignarajah said in a statement.

Rights groups have denounced Title 42 as a violation of US and international law. [File: Go Nakamura/Reuters]

Al Otro Lado, a migrant advocacy and support group that works in the southern United States and Mexico, also denounced the decision as an extension of suffering at the border.

“Parents are sending their children across the border alone to save their lives. This is #Title42 + its extension just means indefinite suffering,” the group said. saying On twitter.

For their part, several Republican officials applauded the ruling, calling it a setback for Biden’s immigration plans, which they say are aimed at weakening border security.

Senator Bill Cassidy, who represents Louisiana, invoked his support for Judge Summerhays’s nomination under former President Trump to welcome the decision.

“A Louisiana judge just stopped Biden’s disastrous plan to worsen the border crisis by repealing Title 42. We need to give Border Patrol the tools they need to secure the border, not take them away,” he wrote on Twitter. “Proud to say that I supported the nomination of Judge Summerhays.”

The Biden administration did not immediately comment on the judge’s ruling, but is expected to appeal.

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