A federal judge on Tuesday struck down the Title 42 policy that allowed border agents to quickly deport migrants without letting them seek asylum, reversing a Trump-era policy adopted by the Biden administration.
DC Federal District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan found the policy violated the Administrative Procedures Act, overturning the controversial policy and preventing the Biden administration from using it to turn back migrants.
Crafted under the Trump administration in the early days of the pandemic, Sullivan found the policy to be arbitrary and capricious, violating Administrative Procedure Act (APA) standards, “because the CDC did not sufficiently consider alternatives and that the policy has not rationally served its stated purpose.
The judge also noted that the CDC’s “decision to ignore harm” caused by the policy also violated the APA.
“It is unreasonable for the CDC to assume that it can ignore the consequences of any action it chooses to take in furtherance of its objectives, particularly when those actions included the extraordinary decision to suspend the codified procedural and substantive rights of non-nationals seeking safety. port,” Sullivan wrote.
Lee Gelernt, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer representing immigrants challenging the policy, celebrated the decision.
“Title 42 has caused serious harm to thousands of desperate asylum seekers. The ruling ends a policy that has misused public laws as a pretext to abandon our commitment to providing a hearing to those fleeing danger,” he said in a statement.
The end of Title 42 will almost certainly be celebrated by immigrant advocates, but the sudden end of a key part of the border administration’s toolkit could heighten perceptions of border chaos.
Title 42 was marketed as a policy response to the pandemic, but most observers viewed it as a transparent attempt to use the pandemic as an excuse to empty the asylum.
In her decision, Sullivan agreed with critics who questioned Title 42’s public health bona fides.
“The Court is not persuaded that Title 42 orders do not fall within the category of ‘quarantine, isolation, or other 22 public health measures,’ as provided in the 2017 Final Rule,” wrote Sullivan.
Title 42 was technically indebted to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) order, but publicly available Trump administration emails revealed the order was politically engineered within the White House.
Under this policy, many foreign nationals who presented themselves at the border were not allowed to seek asylum and were immediately deported to Mexico or their country of origin.
Mexico initially agreed, under pressure from the Trump administration, to receive Guatemalan, Honduran and Salvadoran nationals as part of the policy, but in October Mexico reached an agreement with the Biden administration to also receive nationals. Venezuelan nationals.
The Biden Administration kiss title 42 — a signature Trump policy allegedly designed by Stephen Miller — was a blow to immigrant advocates, who believed Biden would restore full enforcement of the asylum law.
Instead, the Biden administration has staunchly defended the policy’s questionable public health qualifications, used it to deport an estimated 25,000 Haitians to their ruined country, and expanded its use to Venezuelans.
Until October, Venezuelans had been exempt from Title 42, as their home country would not receive deported Venezuelans and no agreement had been reached with Mexico to receive them.
While Title 42 evictions are down from their highest monthly numbers, more than 100,000 per month in the spring of 2021 and 2022, 78,477 people were still being processed using the policy as of October.
Update: 5:10 p.m.
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