Judge: Covid Asylum restrictions on the border must be maintained

Saturday, May 21, 2022
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Joe Biden's Plan to Lift Immigration Restrictions in Tijuana‚ Mexico‚ Blocked by Federal Judge

Earlier this month‚ a federal Judge blocked a Biden administration plan to lift immigration restrictions in Tijuana‚ Mexico‚ and ordered them to remain in place until early next week. The plan would have made it easier for illegal immigrants to reach the U.S. illegally‚ but a Judge blocked that plan on Tuesday. This is a step backwards for President-elect Biden and his administration's immigration policy on the border.

NEW ORLEANS (AP)‚ - The Pandemic-related restrictions placed on asylum seekers at the southern border by the Biden Administration must be maintained‚ according to a judge. This was in a blockade of the Biden administration's plans to remove them soon next week. This was the latest example of a court stifling the President's immigration plans at the U.S.-Mexico border. Although the Justice Department stated that the administration would appeal the decision‚ it is almost certain that Monday's restrictions will continue as scheduled. Advocates who claim rights to asylum are being violated would lose their case. However‚ this would provide some relief for Democrats concerned that an anticipated rise in illegal crossings could put them in a difficult election year. Yesivet Evangelina Evangelina (34)‚ sat in Tijuana and cried when she heard the news from an Associated Press journalist. Aguilar said that she feels like there's no hope after losing her brother. She fled Guerrero‚ Mexico‚ almost a year ago. It's so horrible. Aguilar‚ a 10-year-old girl from Mexico‚ was stopped by U.S. officials from applying for asylum after she entered the Tijuana San Diego port of entry with her daughter. She was found Friday night in Tijuana's shelter‚ where hundreds of migrants were camped. Others have been waiting for years or months. Aguilar's time spent waiting was not only difficult but also dangerous. A stray bullet fired from outside of the shelter hit a fellow immigrant and shot him in the neck. Since March 2020‚ more than 1.9million migrants have been expelled under Title 42. This is a provision in the public health law that prevents them from requesting asylum under U.S. law or international treaty to stop COVID-19 spreading. Robert Summerhays‚ U.S. District Judge‚ in Lafayette (Lawrence)‚ ordered that the restrictions remain in effect while an Arizona-based lawsuit -- now joined by Louisiana and 22 more states -- is argued in court. Summerhays agreed with the states when he ruled that the President Joe Biden's administration had failed to comply with administrative procedures that required public notice and sufficient time for public comment about the plans to remove the restrictions. He said that the states had made it clear they were going to be hurt if the restrictions are removed. Judge cited the judge's predictions by the government that ending restrictions could lead to border crossings increasing threefold to 18‚000 per day. He said that this would lead to more migrants being processed at congregate locations where infectious disease could be spread. Evidence supporting the position of Plaintiff States that an increase in crossings at borders will result in higher healthcare costs and increased education expenses is also included in the record. Summerhays stated that these costs cannot be recovered. Although the White House stated that it did not agree with the decision‚ it would continue to comply until it is appealed. Karine Jean Pierre‚ White House Press Secretary‚ stated that the Centers for Disease Control has the authority to establish national public health policies and not any one district court. Next‚ the case will be heard by the New Orleans-based Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of key Biden administration policy decisions in the past. This court is heavily dominated by Republican nominees. Six of them were nominated by President Donald Trump who appointed Summerhays. Title 42 is mainly concerned with peoples from Mexico‚ Guatemala and Honduras. Many of these migrants have been waiting at the Mexican border for years after they were denied asylum rights by the U.S government. Mexico is now accepting migrants from the three Central American nations that were rejected by the U.S.‚ and has also begun taking in limited numbers Nicaraguans and Cubans. Minutes after Friday's ruling‚ about 15 migrants crossed Rio Grande into Eagle Pass (Texas) in waist-deep waters. These migrants included Nicaraguans unaware of Title 42‚ who were happy that policy-avoiding people were not common in their country. Maynor Zuniga (25)‚ who smiled while waiting for Border Patrol agents at Piedras Negras in Mexico‚ was thankful that they have this advantage. Title 42‚ the second most important Trump-era policy that deters asylum at Mexico's border is still in effect. It was abandoned by Biden and then revived by Trump. The decision was criticized by an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer. Title 42 can only be used to protect public health‚ however‚ the States who brought the lawsuit seem to only care about COVID limitations when it involves asylum seekers‚ and they are using this case to transparently manage the border. Lee Gelernt said This hypocrisy shouldn't be celebrated. Raul Ruiz (a Democrat from California who is also the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus) said that the ruling was absurd‚ ridiculous and erodes the asylum system. The ruling was praised by Republican Members of Congress. According to North Dakota Republican Senator Kevin Cramer‚ the Courts have once more been doing what they should. Bidens Party members supported the continuation of the pandemic restrictions. The fact that the border is in crisis does not alter the fact that Title 42 must remain in effect. Sen. Mark Kelley (an Arizona Democrat) said that today's decision is no change to the reality that Title 42 remains in force. He is currently facing a difficult reelection campaign. The U.S. Supreme Court heard argument last month on whether the government could force asylum seekers to remain in Mexico in order to hear in the U.S immigration court. The case against a policy called Remain in Mexico was filed in Amarillo (Texas). The Judge ordered it to be reinstated on December and is still in force while litigation continues. ___ Spagat reported in Eagle Pass‚ Texas. This report was contributed by Julie Watson‚ Tijuana Mexican reporter‚ and Alan Fram‚ Washington correspondent.