It was at the earliest onset of the pandemic in the United States, in March 2020, that the Trump administration used a relatively obscure 1944 public health policy to craft what’s known as Title 42, which gives the U.S government the power to expel illegal immigrants in order to prevent the spread of disease.
According to Fox News, Title 42 has experienced its fair share of controversy in the court system, and was put on hold for a time. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled on Friday that the U.S. government can continue using the policy, with a few exceptions.
The policy has been one of the primary tools of both the Biden administration and the Trump administration to immediately expel illegals, denying them the ability to request asylum.
The DC Circuit Court of Appeals three-judge panel reinstated the process but added that illegal immigrants can’t be sent back to countries where they run the risk of being tortured or otherwise put in danger, creating a new list of challenges for the current administration.
The court made clear that illegal aliens can’t be sent back to countries where they’ll face imminent danger.
“It is likely that [Title 42] grants the Executive sweeping authority to prohibit aliens from entering the United States during a public-health emergency; that the Executive may expel aliens who violate such a prohibition,” the judges wrote.
They added: “And that under…the Convention Against Torture, the Executive cannot expel aliens to countries where their ‘life or freedom would be threatened.'”
Even though the Biden administration is considerably weaker on the expulsion of illegal aliens, it did so 1.1 million times in the first year of President Joe Biden’s term, with many of those coming via Title 42. One example was the Haitian migrants who camped under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas.
However, with the latest ruling, the Biden administration will now have to spend considerable time and resources to screen those they plan to expel under the policy, in order to ensure that they’re not being sent back into immediate danger.
The ACLU lawsuit
The entire reason why Title 42 has been in jeopardy for the past few years is due to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which launched a lawsuit against the U.S. government to end the practice.
In the lawsuit, the ACLU argued that Title 42 “illegally circumvented existing legal protections built into immigration law,” claiming it was illegal to prevent illegals from requesting asylum. A district court at the time upheld that argument, which is the ruling that was overturned on Friday by the appeals court judges.
While it’s good that Title 42 can be used once again, it appears that now it will come with exponentially increased expenses and resources, which could dissuade the U.S. government from using it as effectively as it was once used.