On March 4, 2022, a federal judge in Texas ruled that the Biden administration can no longer exempt unaccompanied immigrant children from a Trump-era policy called Title 42. The judge’s order is not effective until the following Friday, which gives the government an opportunity to appeal.
Invoked in March 2020 under President Donald Trump, Title 42 is a public health law with the purpose of containing COVID-19. This law allows the U.S. government to expel immigrants at the border and prevent them from seeking asylum or having their case heard in immigration court. Immigrants are either immediately sent to Mexico or flown back to their home countries.
Not only has the Biden administration continued to enforce Title 42, but it has also defended the policy in court. However, there was an exception for unaccompanied immigrant minors, stemming from two orders issued by the White House in July and August 2021.
Judge Mark Pittman—who was appointed by Trump—ordered the government to stop the exemption, finding that the current administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act and caused the state of Texas to sustain “significant” financial consequences.
On the same day as the Texas judge ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a lower court’s ruling to allow the government to continue the Title 42 policy. Last year, the Biden administration was ordered to continue the Migration Protection Protocols (MMP), which is widely known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy.
According to data from Customs and Border Protection (CBP), over 1.6 million immigrants and asylum seekers have been expelled under Title 42. Advocates for immigrant children believe Biden must end the policy to prevent unaccompanied minors from being returned to harmful situations.
If you are dealing with an immigration matter in Phoenix, AZ, call Kanu & Associates, P.C. at (602) 353-7795 or fill out our online contact form to request a case review. Our knowledgeable and skilled immigration attorney has more than two decades of legal experience!