- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
A federal judge has ordered the Biden administration not to use its public health authority to turn away any migrant families who illegally cross the southern border into the United States, an abandonment of U.S. policy in effect since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia Emmet Sullivan wrote in a ruling issued Thursday that any parent or guardian and child under the age of 18 should not be immediately pushed back into Mexico or returned to their country of origin under Title 42, the public health authority the U.S. has used to expel migrants during the pandemic.
The decision will take effect in 14 days, and it will force federal law enforcement at the border to take thousands of more people into custody daily because they cannot send them back to Mexico.
Facilities where illegal immigrants are held and processed at the border are already severely overwhelmed.
The ruling is a victory for the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued the Trump administration in 2020 following the implementation of the policy in March.
The Biden administration has not followed Title 42 protocols for several months and has not expelled families because Mexico refuses to take people back.
At the onset of the pandemic, encounters of illegal immigrants at the southern border dropped significantly, down to below 20,000 per month. Monthly encounters began rising after Title 42 was initially implemented, growing to nearly 70,000 by the end of 2020. While the policy mandates anyone caught to be turned away, it also means those who are apprehended will not be referred for prosecution for illegal entry — allowing people multiple tries without consequences.
When President Joe Biden took office in January, approximately 78,000 were encountered at the border. In each of July and August, more than 200,000 people have been encountered.
Unable to hold so many people in custody, Border Patrol is releasing most families directly into the U.S. Migrants are not required to get coronavirus vaccinations and are not tested by the government while in federal custody.
Washington Examiner Videos
Original Author: Anna Giaritelli