A border closure policy originally enacted by the Trump administration will remain in place for now after the Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to consider the argument of 19 Republican-controlled states fighting to keep the measure alive.
The policy, known as Title 42, had already been ruled illegal by a federal judge. But the nation’s highest court will now assess whether Republican-led states can continue their legal intervention to defend Title 42, allowing the extension of an inhumane policy that denies asylum seekers entry to the United States. But it’s not just Republicans who are working to ban immigrants.
Epidemiologists, public health experts, and even CDC officials themselves have attested that there is no public health justification for denying people their right to seek asylum at the US border.
Although President Joe Biden is now pushing to end Title 42, previously fought in federal court to preserve politics despite his campaign promise to restore asylum. That promise is just one of many he has broken; Biden needs to remove all of the Trump-era immigration policies that have held up thus far.
In the Title 42 case, the Trump administration took advantage of the emergence of Covid-19 by having the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention order the immediate expulsion of migrants seeking asylum. This has left those fleeing war, violence, drought and persecution without a legal process through which they can assert their right to the protection of the law.
Title 42 was never about public health. epidemiologists, public health experts and even CDC officials they have themselves attested that there is no public health justification for denying people their right to seek asylum at the US border.
In fact, Title 42 arose after the trump white house reportedly squeezed the CDC. Politics fulfilled the impossible dream from Donald Trump’s top presidential adviser on immigration, esteban millerwho promoted the ideas attributed to the incorporation of white nationalism inside and outside the White House. It is no coincidence that Title 42 has Black disproportionately denied Y brown immigrants their right to apply for asylum.
The longer this charade went on, the more apparent the racist double standards became. As the US opened its ports of entry to tourists and other immigrants, such as Ukrainian refugees, asylum seekers —even those with proof of covid-19 vaccination status— have continued to be blocked and banned due to Title 42.
In addition to its inherent inhumanity, Title 42 is also against United States policy. international and legal obligations require that asylum seekers receive an individualized assessment of their asylum claim before they can be deported to a country where their life would be threatened. Title 42 has denied this right to more than 2 million migrants, while creating confusion and serious humanitarian failures along the border.
Like the Biden administration before fought to maintain politics in federal court, Human Rights First documented that more than 10,000 reports of abuse, including murder, kidnapping, torture, rape and other violent attacks, occurred as migrants were left to languish on the streets and in shelters of Mexico. The latest Supreme Court ruling will only ensure that these abuses continue.
Far from being the exception, Biden’s handling of Title 42 fits into a troubling pattern of continuing the cruelty of Trump’s approach to immigration. Other anti-asylum policies hatched by Miller are being considered in the Biden White House, such as the “traffic ban”, an illegal policy that effectively drastically reduces the number of migrants who would qualify for asylum. Haitian migrants fleeing violence and discrimination have faced deportations Y mass expulsions under Biden since Border Patrol agents on horseback chased them in Texas in September 2021. And in the federal courts, the Biden administration has repeatedly tried to dismiss the lawsuits filed by separated families under Trump’s horrible family separation policy.
Biden’s lawyers at the Justice Department have even gone so far as to defend the private prison industry’s interest in locking up immigrants en masse. Despite repeated promises a end immigration detention for profitBiden continued his predecessor’s endorsement of GEO Group, a massive private prison corporation, in a federal lawsuit destined to overthrow California ban on private prisons.
Meanwhile, the number of people detained in the immigration detention system it has almost doubled since the start of the Biden administration, and the number of migrants watched by digital forms of imprisonment has been shot. Both the arrest and The Immigration and Customs Enforcement surveillance network are plagued with racism Y abuse.
While Biden vowed to turn back the dial on the rising tide of hate and extremism, his actions have breathed life into his predecessor’s vile anti-immigrant legacy, even as voters continue to reject it at the polls.
Instead of placating xenophobes, the Biden administration must lead with integrity and compassion. America has the resources and the capacity to be a welcoming nation.
Biden must reverse course by doing everything in his power to end Title 42 and ensure that all who have been waiting in danger receive the refuge they have been so callously deprived of. Critically, once Title 42 is finally lifted, it is imperative that Biden act to welcome migrants with dignity and justice, not with more detentions, surveillance, and a militarized southern border. This administration should work to expand, not limitmigrants’ access to the asylum system.
Biden has so far wasted the mandate he received to reverse Trump’s immigration policies. But the gap between Biden’s rhetoric and his actions reflects much more than political malpractice; the policies we are talking about can be a matter of life and death, and for almost two years, migrants have paid the price.