Washington, DC — Friday’s district court ruling in State of Texas v. Biden barred the Biden Administration from exempting unaccompanied children from Title 42, finding that the federal government had not adequately explained its decision to spare these children from summary returns under the policy. Thousands of children alone were expelled from the U.S.-Mexico border to potential harm starting in March 2020 until they were exempted from the policy by the Biden Administration in early 2021.
“This ruling is deeply misguided,” said KIND President Wendy Young. “U.S. law is clear – the federal government must allow unaccompanied children a fair opportunity to pursue protection. The U.S. government has a legal and humanitarian obligation to ensure this lifeline. Unaccompanied children are one of the world’s most vulnerable groups, most often seeking safety from brutal violence, abuse, and other grave harm. It is unconscionable to expel them without any chance to establish their eligibility for legal protection. And contrary to the district court’s arguments, public health experts have long made clear that the expulsion of unaccompanied children and other protection seekers lacks any public health rationale.”
KIND calls upon the Biden Administration to seek an appellate stay and swiftly appeal the district court’s ruling. A district court in Washington, D.C. had already ordered the government to exempt these children from Title 42, in P.J.E.S. v. Wolf.
A separate federal court ruling Friday in Huisha-Huisha v. Mayorkas ordered the Biden administration to limit Title 42 expulsions, not expand them.
“The ultimate solution is long overdue: terminate Title 42,” Young said. “These conflicting court decisions will create confusion and disorder at the border and make this imperative all the more urgent.
“President Biden pledged to restore humanity to America’s immigration system and implement fair, orderly border processing. Title 42 subjects all asylum seekers, including children and families, to immediate danger of persecution and torture. Repair of our system can only truly begin when President Biden rolls back Title 42 in full.”
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