Federal Judge Blocks Key Element Of Biden Administration’s Immigration Policy
U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar blocked a rule that allows immigration authorities to deny asylum to migrants who arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border without applying online or seeking protection in another country first. This undercuts a key element of President Joe Biden’s new immigration plan.
In May, the Biden administration announced a set of immigration policies that would lift certain border restrictions and maintain others. Biden repealed Title 41, which allowed authorities to expel migrants at the border in an attempt to minimize the spread of Covid-19.
He also enacted Title 8, which allows the government to remove migrants who cannot legally establish themselves in the U.S., and ban them from the country for at least five years.
Tigar deemed the rule illegal due to its presumption that migrants are ineligible for asylum if they enter the country between legal border crossings, and rejected the Biden administration’s arguments that Title 8 provides emphasizes other avenues for people to come into the country.
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A number of immigration rights groups have said that Title 8 violates laws protecting the right to asylum, regardless of how a migrant enters the country. The groups claimed that it forces migrants to seek protection in countries that may not have the resources or policies to take care of them.
“The promise of America is to serve as a beacon of freedom and hope, and the administration can and should do better to fulfill this promise, rather than perpetuate cruel and ineffective policies that betray it,” said American Civil Liberties Union attorney Katrina Eiland in a statement.
Tigar delayed his ruling from immediately taking effect to give the Biden administration time to appeal. The Justice Department did so, asserting that their immigration policies are lawful.
Biden’s policies were meant to appease both ends of the political spectrum, opening channels for migrants to enter the U.S. but still enforcing border protection rules.
As of June, the number of unlawful border crossings had decreased by more than 70%.
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