Monday, June 17, 2024

US Supreme Court blocks suspension of Title 42

The United States Supreme Court has granted a temporary stay in the lifting of Title 42, the pandemic-era legislation that allows asylum seekers at the U.S. border to be immediately expelled to Mexico, without recourse to legal hearings.

Chief Justice John Roberts issued the stay on Monday in response to an emergency petition by 19 states, who argued that the suspension of Title 42 would cause a flood of migration that would overwhelm their services.

The Supreme Court’s order leaves Title 42 in place until further notice and gave the parties to the dispute until 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday to respond. A previous ruling by a federal judge last month ordered the restrictions to be lifted on Wednesday, Dec. 21, arguing that they were no longer justified to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

U.S. authorities are braced for up to 18,000 migrants a day to attempt to cross the border if Title 42 is lifted. A huge backlog of would-be asylum seekers has built up on the Mexican side of the border since the Trump administration imposed the restrictions in March 2020. Many have already tried several times to cross.

“If Title 42 remains in place, we must continue waiting,” Venezuelan migrant Lina Jaouhari told Reuters, in response to the Supreme Court order. “It won’t do any good to try to cross again if we know they will send us back.”

Title 42 restrictions are usually invoked to expel citizens who can be returned to Mexico, including Guatemalans, Hondurans, Salvadorans and — since October — Venezuelans. As a result, citizens not accepted by Mexico, such as Nicaraguans, have come to make up a disproportionate number of U.S. asylum claims.

While this stage of the litigation proceeds, we will continue our preparations to manage the border in a safe, orderly, and humane way when the Title 42 public health order lifts,” the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a statement on Monday.

“We urge Congress to use this time to provide the funds we have requested for border security and management and advance the comprehensive immigration measures President Biden proposed on his first day in office,” they added.

The DHS has proposed a six-pillar plan to deal with the anticipated surge of migrants, including a fast-track deportation process and expanded pathways for legal migration.

With reports from Reuters and Animal Político

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