Washington, DC – Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is praising today’s District Court for the District of Columbia ruling enjoining the application of the Title 42 border policy to families seeking safety in the United States as a vital step towards restoring a humane immigration system that upholds U.S. and international law and protects the right to seek asylum. The decision affirms that the authority invoked by the Biden Administration in carrying out Title 42 in no way overrides longstanding protections for immigrants under law. With two weeks until the injunction takes effect, the Administration could now appeal the ruling or reconsider its policy to block these families from safety.
“Today’s ruling stands to ensure that families fleeing grave violence and other dangers in their countries of origin have the opportunity to pursue protection in the United States consistent with our nation’s longstanding laws and ideals,” said KIND President Wendy Young. “This ruling will save lives; however, the Biden Administration should not require an injunction to roll back Title 42 and should not appeal the injunction. It should take the right and lawful course of action of its own accord by fully rescinding this Trump-era policy that has harmed so many.”
The Trump Administration instituted Title 42 by invoking the COVID-19 pandemic, a policy decision that the Biden Administration has largely maintained. Independent public health experts have long made clear that the policy has never been guided by a legitimate public health rationale. KIND notes that the U.S. government has procedures and policies in place to successfully uphold its humanitarian protection system and safeguard public health as it accepts those arriving at our borders in search of protection.
While the Biden Administration has exempted unaccompanied children who arrive between official entry points from Title 42, ports of entry remain closed to them, compelling many to make the dangerous decision to enter the United States between ports to access the protection they desperately seek. These routes are riskier and more remote, placing children in needless harm and frustrating orderly processing at the border. The Administration can and should reopen those ports to unaccompanied children and others seeking protection without delay.
“The Biden Administration’s rhetoric on re-establishing a humane and orderly immigration system must match its actions,” Young added. “Terminating T42 is the only way to align U.S. policy with these goals.”
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