Biden administration to keep Trump-era rule of turning away migrants during pandemic
The Biden administration will keep in place a Trump-era policy of turning migrants away at the southern border without allowing them to claim asylum due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced an extension of the policy in a statement on Monday, determining that “introduction of such noncitizens, regardless of their country of origin, migrating through Canada and Mexico into the United States creates a serious danger of the introduction of COVID-19 into the United States.”
The U.S. is currently experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases due to the more infectious delta variant, causing many state and local governments as well as businesses to reimpose pandemic mitigation measures.
A group of GOP lawmakers last month had urged President Biden to keep the Trump-era policy, called Title 42, in place. Despite overturning many of former President Trump’s immigration policies, the Biden administration has defended the continued use of Title 42, which it has used to expel roughly 100,000 migrants every month.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Monday announced it would be moving forward with a lawsuit to force the administration to lift the policy.
“It is now clear that there is no immediate plan to do that,” ACLU lawyer Lee Gelernt said in a statement. “The administration made repeated public statements that it just needed some time to build back the asylum system the Trump administration depleted. We gave them seven months. Time is up.”
In a court filing responding to the lawsuit, the administration argued that lifting Title 42 would overwhelm the country’s immigration system and lead to overcrowded and unsafe conditions at border facilities.