The Biden administration is appealing a judge’s order to stop using a Trump-era pandemic policy that allows swift deportations without giving migrants an opportunity to seek asylum.
The Department of Justice on Friday appealed the ruling of U.S. District Judge Emmett Sullivan, which bars the federal government from deporting migrants under a public health law called Title 42. Sullivan ordered that the rule be implemented in 14 days.
The call is the latest move by the Biden administration to deal with a 20-year high increase in migrants illegally crossing the border from Mexico and Central America, which remains a political flashpoint between Republicans and progressive democrats.
Title 42 was first introduced in March 2020 by former President Donald Trump over concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. He gave the government the power to return any migrants caught crossing the border illegally, regardless of their country of origin, in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
While President Joe Biden has worked to roll back many of his predecessor’s strict immigration policies, he renewed Title 42 last month when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an updated order banning its use due to the ongoing pandemic. justified.
The CDC order said the policy would remain in effect as long as the border migration of non-US citizens from Mexico and Canada “does not pose a serious threat to public health.”
Since the start of the pandemic, more than one million migrants have been deported under the policy, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.
Under the Trump administration, more than 444,000 migrants have been returned across the border using Title 42. And more than 690,000 immigrants have been deported through politics since Biden took office in January.
The Biden administration’s decision to retain Title 42 was a blow to many immigration advocates and progressive Democrats, who expected the federal government to decide to end the policy after the move to Thursday.
Noah Gottschalk, Head of Global Policy, Oxfam America, said: “We are upset because the Biden administration is devoting its precious time and energy to fighting tooth and nail to perpetuate President Trump’s xenophobic immigration policies. , killing thousands. The damage is happening. a twitter post on Friday.
Oxfam America was among the groups that challenged Title 42 in the lawsuit that resulted in Thursday’s ruling. Other groups include the American Civil Liberties Union, the Texas Civil Rights Project, the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, and the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, or RAICES.
RAICES said he was also “extremely disappointed” with the decision.
Tammy Goodlett, director of litigation at Texas-based RAICES, said: “By defending Title 42, the Biden administration has made it clear that it wants to give asylum-seeking families the right to a full and fair process for seek protection in the United States. States. ready to refuse. , said in a statement on Friday. “The Biden administration has a moral obligation to stop using Title 42 to harm families and children, and it should stop using Title 42 altogether.”
“We urge the White House to correct this hasty decision to end the suffering of these families forever and to appeal,” Goodlett said.
The White House and DOJ did not immediately respond to requests for comment.