Last May, the federal rule called Title 42 expired. It was imposed three years ago by the Trump administration and supposedly sought to protect the population from COVID infections by rejecting asylum seekers at the border without even granting them the right to a hearing. A hearing to which they are entitled by law.
The rule blocked more than two million border crossings until it was revoked.
It was feared that once defeated, an unstoppable wave of asylum seekers would sweep across the border. This would increase the siege of the Biden administration by Republicans who accuse it of promoting illegal immigration, by those who describe migrants as dangerous criminals.
But the level of unauthorized crossings fell, from 10,000 to 3,500 per day. While between 2014 and 2019 83% of asylum seekers were able to request it at the border, the proportion dropped to 46%.
This was due to the “asylum ineligibility” policy that the government imposed in place of Title 42, which states that to apply for asylum, migrants must have been rejected in another country while en route to the United States and have arrived at the border. with a previously agreed appointment with an immigration officer.
At first glance, a victory for the government.
The problem is that this rule especially punishes immigrants who lack resources. And by the way, it is also illegal. It violates U.S. law and international law, as was understood by federal judge Jon Tigar, who correctly disqualified the rule, declaring it “both substantially and procedurally invalid.” He however postponed the implementation of his ruling for 14 days to allow the government to appeal.
Indeed, the administration intends to reach the Supreme Court. The government argues that its policy is essential to contain migration, which has increased sharply around the world.
His excuse is that if confirmed, Judge Tigar’s decision will lead to an increase in border crossings, which will “put significant pressure on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), border communities, and inland cities.” This alarmist forecast has no reason to exist if this rejection policy that endangers thousands of families fleeing persecution is replaced by a real immigration policy.
The administration must cease its attempts to impose this illegal rule whose main objective is to avoid a political attack from the opposition. The President must realize that no matter what he does, Republicans will continue to dramatize the “immigrant invasion” by blaming him.
Instead, it should look for common sense solutions that have the support of the majority of citizens. Every day that they prolong their fight for a relentless and failed policy, more families fleeing persecution and violence are in danger.
This article was supported in whole, or in part, by funds provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library and the Latino Media Collaborative.
Founder and co-editor of Latino Los Angeles. Editor Emeritus of La Opinion, former Editor-in-Chief. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is a journalist, columnist, blogger, poet, novelist, and short story writer. Was the editorial director of Huffington Post Voces. Editor-in-chief of the weekly Tiempo in Israel. Is the father of three grown children and lives with Celia and with Rosie, Almendra and Yinyit in Los Angeles.