Overturned Trump-Era Policy Dooms American Borders

Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

On Tuesday (November 15), D.C. federal district court Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled that Title 42 violated the Administrative Procedures Act, blocking the policy that allows border agents to expel migrants before they’re able to seek asylum.

Tuesday’s ruling overturned the Trump-era policy, which has continued to the Biden administration but makes Biden’s administration unable to leverage the policy that can deter immigrants.

Title 42 was implemented in the early days of COVID-19. The policy allowed border agents to expel immigrants to protect public health.

In his 49-page opinion, Sullivan describes Title 42 as “arbitrary” and a “violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.”

Following the ruling, American Civil Liberties Union celebrated.

The group’s lawyer Lee Gelernt, who has represented migrants challenging the policy, said the policy was never about public health. Instead, Gelernt claims the Trump-era policy was a way to prevent “desperate asylum seekers from even getting a hearing.”

In March 2020, the week after former President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) implemented Title 42 of the Public Health Service Act of 1944.

The policy gave the CDC control over the admission of goods and people deemed to be a risk of spreading COVID-19.

While Title 42 was a Trump-era policy, the current administration has been using it to reduce the influx of immigrants at the southern border, an issue that has skyrocketed since President Joe Biden took office.