On June 23, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 8-1 ruling allowing the Biden administration to enforce its immigration policy. The ruling overturned a Texas-based federal judge’s decision from last year that had blocked the policy nationwide.
The policy, which was in effect for less than a year before being blocked, allows immigration officers to focus their limited resources and enforcement actions on those who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote for the majority that the challengers did not have legal standing to sue over the plan. This decision recognizes that there is not enough money or manpower to enforce all immigration laws equally and instead allows federal officials discretion in enforcing them.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas welcomed the decision, saying it will help protect national security and public safety while also preserving limited resources.
The new law “Title 42” has come into effect in the United States, and it has important implications for immigration policy. The law gives the government broad authority to expel migrants seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border. While the Biden administration had vowed to be more welcoming to immigrants than its predecessor, it has decided to continue enforcing Title 42. In this blog, we will take a closer look at Title 42, why it was enacted, how it affects immigrants, and what the implications are for those seeking refuge in the United States.
Title 42 is a public-health law that was introduced in March 2020 by the Trump administration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It allows the government to expel migrants at the border on health grounds. The Biden administration has continued to enforce the law, and this has been criticized by immigrant rights activists who argue that it is being used as a pretext to deny migrants their legal right to seek asylum.
Under Title 42, migrants are typically expelled to Mexico or their country of origin without the opportunity to make their asylum case. Exceptions are made for unaccompanied minors, who are placed in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services. Advocates have criticized the expulsions as inhumane and say that they put migrants at risk of violence in Mexico, where they often have to wait in unsafe and unsanitary conditions.
The administration officials have defended the law, arguing that it is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Critics, however, point out that the law has been selectively enforced and that it is not being applied to other groups, such as cross-border travelers or U.S. citizens returning from abroad. They also argue that the law violates U.S. and international law.
The situation has become more complicated as the Biden administration has also been dealing with a surge of migrants at the border. The number of migrants apprehended at the border in March 2021 was the highest in 15 years, with many of them being families and unaccompanied minors. The surge has been attributed to a variety of factors, including economic hardship, climate change, and violence in Central America.
The Biden administration has been working to address the situation by increasing the capacity of Border Patrol and Customs and Immigration Services, as well as engaging with countries in the region to address the root causes of migration. However, Title 42 remains in effect, and there is no indication that it will be suspended in the near future.
In a 14-page opinion, Justice Brett Kavanaugh of the United States Supreme Court ruled that Texas and Louisiana did not have the authority to challenge the Biden administration’s immigration policies. Kavanaugh argued that the states’ lawsuit was “extraordinarily unusual,” as it sought to “order the executive branch to alter its arrest policies so as to make more arrests.” He further noted that federal courts do not typically hear such cases, and suggested that other forums remain open for the states to press their concerns. However, he made clear that he was not opining on whether any such actions would be appropriate in this instance.
Justice Samuel Alito was the lone dissenter in this 8-1 decision, arguing that Congress had the power to limit a president’s ability to disobey a law through inter-branch warfare.
Kavanaugh’s ruling is yet another example of how state governments are limited in their ability to challenge federal policy.
Title 42 has become a controversial issue in the United States, with advocates and critics on both sides of the debate. While the law was introduced as a public-health measure, it has been criticized for its inhumane treatment of migrants and for violating the legal right of asylum. The situation has been complicated by the surge of migrants at the border and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It remains to be seen how the Biden administration will address these issues going forward and whether Title 42 will continue to be enforced. However, it is crucial to remember that all individuals, regardless of their status, should be treated with dignity and respect.