- The White House defends its use of Trump-era health policy to justify expelling migrants as the US moves to lift Canada and Mexico border restrictions for fully vaccinated foreign nationals.
- White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that the easing of travel restrictions would only allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals with “proper documentation” to enter the US.
- Immigration lawyers and some Democrats have pointed to inconsistencies in the Biden administration’s border policies regarding vaccination status.
The Biden administration on Wednesday defended its use of a Trump-era health law to deport undocumented migrants across the country’s borders, even as it mandates fully immunized people traveling into the US from Canada or Mexico. Removes restrictions for foreign nationals with
The law, known as Title 42, “remains stagnant,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said when asked whether fully vaccinated migrants seeking asylum could enter the US.
She told reporters on Wednesday that the easing travel restrictions would only allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals with “proper documentation” to enter the US.
The administration of then-President Donald Trump introduced Title 42 in March 2020 over concerns about the COVID pandemic. Since taking effect in March 2020, more than 1 million migrants have been expelled under Title 42 Data from US Customs and Border Protection.
Senior administration officials said Tuesday that the US is preparing to reopen its land borders with Canada and Mexico to fully vaccinated foreign nationals in early November, helping to curb non-essential travel. The policy has been terminated. global pandemic.
In practice, Title 42 refers to anyone caught crossing the border illegally, that is, to enter without a visa or without passing a formal border post, without giving them an opportunity to claim asylum in the United States. can be deported immediately.
Absent Title 42, US law requires that all migrants crossing the border, with or without papers, be given the opportunity to seek asylum.
In August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the policy would remain in effect as long as there is no danger to people who are not US citizens and are bringing Covid-19 into the country when crossing the border. Unaccompanied children are exempted from the health law.
“The Title 42 restrictions are really about protecting migrants, the DHS workforce and local communities,” a senior administration official told reporters on Tuesday. “There is, for the time being, a strong public health basis for continuing Title 42 restrictions.”
An official also said the health policy remains essential as it is difficult to enforce social distancing at border patrol facilities where migrants are usually kept.
Immigration lawyers and some Democrats have pointed to inconsistencies in the Biden administration’s border policies regarding vaccination status.
John Bruning, staff attorney for the Refugee and Immigrant Program at The Advocates for Human Rights, criticized White House and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Meyerkas.
“How does this reconcile with Meyerkas doubling down on Title 42 evictions? Are migrants being summarily deported or not,” Bruning said in a Twitter post.
Former US Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, who worked under the Obama administration, said a twitter post that it was “big news” that the borders would be reopened but called for the elimination of Title 42.
“Our gateways must now reopen to allow people to claim asylum,” Castro said in the Post on Wednesday. “Title 42 is a stain on this country and it must end.”
The decision to retain Title 42 comes as the Biden administration grapples with Highest number of immigrants attempting to cross the US-Mexico border illegally in two decades.
Earlier on Tuesday, Mayerkas defended the administration’s use of Title 42, saying yahoo news That it is a “public health authority” and not an “immigration policy”.
“This is not an immigration policy that we will adopt in this administration,” Meyerkas said in an interview with Yahoo. “But we see it as a public health imperative because the Centers for Disease Control has ordered so.”
“We are in the middle of a pandemic,” he said. “For anyone thinking this is business as usual, I think, frankly, ignoring a pandemic that has taken more than 700,000 American lives.”
The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, or RAICES, said in a Twitter post Tuesday that the Biden administration was expelling asylum seekers without due process and “putting families and children back in imminent danger in the name of public health.” was sending.” “
RAICES was among several groups that challenged the health policy in a lawsuit last month. A US appeals court recently ruled that the Biden administration can continue to use Title 42 while the trial proceeds.