Immigration News: November 15, 2022

Yellow sign with black lettering, saying "Asylum is a human right."

Title 42 is dead: so says Federal District Judge Emmett Sullivan, ruling in a suit brought by the ACLU. The unconstitutional policy of expelling all migrants, including asylum seekers, without a hearing, is permanently enjoined. From Judge Sullivan’s ruling:

“It is unreasonable for the CDC to assume that it can ignore the consequences of any actions it chooses to take in the pursuit of fulfilling its goals, particularly when those actions included the extraordinary decision to suspend the codified procedural and substantive rights of noncitizens seeking safe harbor.”

The Department of Homeland Security announced an unopposed motion to stay the judge’s ruling for five weeks, “to prepare for an orderly transition to new policies at the border.” The DHS statement also said that this means “Title 42 would remain in place for some period,” and warned of smugglers who “will lie to try to take advantage of vulnerable migrants, putting lives at risk” while expulsions continue.   

An unopposed motion means the ACLU has agreed not to argue against this five-week delay. That also means that the Biden administration is not going to appeal the ruling, but instead plans to end Title 42. Agreeing to end Title 42 is consistent with the Biden administration’s initial effort to end Title 42 at the beginning of President Biden’s term. That move was met with a lawsuit and an order from a Trump-appointed judge to keep Title 42 in place.

The Title 42 expulsion policy was technically a public health policy based on COVID concerns, but that was never more than a ruse, with public health officials saying repeatedly that the policy had no legitimate public health impact.  

[Washington Post] “In his ruling, Sullivan noted that the government never proved its claims that there was a risk of migrants introducing covid into the United States. During the first seven months of the Title 42 policy, he wrote, Customs and Border Protection found an average of one migrant a day who tested positive.

“When the Biden administration extended the order in August 2021, he said, the rate of daily cases in the United States was almost double that of Mexico.

“Sullivan wrote that Title 42 also was not an effective border control measure, and instead served to boot migrants into countries where they could easily try again, and recidivism soared.”

You can read Judge Emmett Sullivan’s 49-page opinion in full.

And in other news

A Congressional committee investigated Dr. Mahendra Amin at the Ocilla detention facility in Irwin County, Georgia after a whistleblower complaint. The facility is run by the private, for-profit LaSalle Corrections company. The committee report documented outrageous abuses of immigrant women held at the detention center. 

[CBS] “Citing a medical review it commissioned of over 16,600 pages of medical records pertaining to 94 women treated by Amin, the congressional subcommittee concluded that ‘female detainees appear to have undergone excessive, invasive, and often unnecessary gynecological procedures.’ …

“The report said six formerly detained women told investigators that Amin was ‘rough and insensitive’ during medical procedures and failed to be forthcoming about his diagnoses and treatment plans. 

“‘These women described feeling confused, afraid, and violated after their treatment by Dr. Amin,” investigators said. ‘Several reported that they still live with physical pain and uncertainty regarding the effect of his treatments on their fertility.’ …

“While the Irwin County detention center held 4% of women in ICE custody between 2017 and 2020, the report said, Amin performed over 80% of certain gynecological procedures on detainees across the U.S. during that time, including laparoscopies, Depo-Provera injections, limited pelvic exams and dilation and curettage procedures.”

In another important win, Arizona voters said non-citizens, documented or not, can pay in-state tuition. 

[AP] “Arizona joins at least 18 other states, including California and Virginia, that offer in-state tuition to all students who otherwise qualify regardless of immigration status. …

“The measure was referred to the ballot by Arizona’s Legislature and repeals some parts of an earlier initiative that banned in-state tuition for non-citizens. It will allow all students regardless of immigration status to pay in-state college rates as long as they attended Arizona high schools for two years and graduated.”

The monthly numbers are out: fewer Venezuelan migrants apprehended at the border, but continuing high numbers of Nicaraguans and Cubans.  Mexico generally does not allow Nicaraguans and Cubans to be expelled to its territory, and the two countries do not accept expulsion flights.

[CBS] “U.S. immigration officials encountered migrants 230,678 times along the southern border last month, a 1.9% increase from September, according to the Customs and Border Protection data. Roughly 19% of those encounters involved repeat crossings by migrants who had been previously processed by U.S. border agents.

“Border Patrol recorded 204,273 apprehensions of migrants who entered the U.S. illegally, a slight decrease from Sept., while the Office of Field Operations, another CBP agency, processed 26,405 migrants at official ports of entry, where the Biden administration has been admitting certain asylum-seekers.”

About Mary Turck

News Day, written by Mary Turck, analyzes, summarizes, links to, and comments on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to immigration, education, and journalism. Fragments, also written by Mary Turck, has fiction, poetry and some creative non-fiction. Mary Turck edited TC Daily Planet, www.tcdailyplanet.net, from 2007-2014, and edited the award-winning Connection to the Americas and AMERICAS.ORG, in its pre-2008 version. She is also a recovering attorney and the author of many books for young people (and a few for adults), mostly focusing on historical and social issues.
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