A federal judge in Washington has ordered the government to stop using a public health law to deny families entry into the United States illegally. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan gave the government 14 days to appeal before the order is implemented.
Title 42 was instituted in March of 2020 in response to the pandemic. The law allows for expedited removal of most illegal aliens, including families.
The immediate effect of Sullivan’s ruling will be dire. Families that show up at the border will not be turned away. Instead, they will be processed and released as they await their court hearing — possibly as long as five years away.
Judge Sullivan’s ruling came in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in January. The suit had been on hold for months in the spring and into the summer, as the ACLU and other immigrant-rights organizations negotiated with the government to ease the border restrictions. During that time, nongovernmental organizations including the ACLU identified thousands of families who were considered to be particularly vulnerable to be allowed to cross into the U.S. at still-closed border crossings. That exemption process formally ended last month.
The Department of Homeland Security didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
It doesn’t seem to bother the ACLU that the government does not have the facilities to house and care for the tens of thousands of families who will now make a mad dash for the border.
“The department lacks sufficient capacity to safely hold and process all individuals seeking to enter the United States during the global pandemic if the U.S. Government were restricted in its ability to implement the CDC order,” Mr. Shahoulian said.
The ACLU is saying not to worry. All is well. We don’t need to keep the families from coming because we don’t need the law to deal with the pandemic anymore.
In a statement, the ACLU said the policy was unnecessary to control Covid-19 in the U.S. and that the U.S. can safely allow migrants to seek protection.
“President Biden should have ended this cruel and lawless policy long ago, and the court was correct to reject it today,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.
This is what happens when the ACLU is able to find a judge just as unmoored from reality as they are. They made the argument that the families would suffer “irreparable harm” if Title 42 were allowed to continue.
In August, a top DHS official told Judge Sullivan that the department was unable to process all families arriving at the southern border safely, pointing to the emergent delta variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 as a particular cause for concern.
But Judge Sullivan was as unpersuaded by the government’s logistical arguments as he was by its reading of the law, pointing to DHS’ previous acknowledgment that 86% of families arriving at the southern border are already being paroled into the U.S. Meanwhile, those who are pushed out under Title 42 are put in settings where the virus is likely to be transmitted, including crowded buses and planes, without testing, he said.
There were more than 200,000 arrests at the southern border last month. How many more do you think there will be after this order is implemented?