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What does the Supreme Court decision on Title 42 mean for migrants?

2022-12-28T03:56:30.876Z


Republican officials hailed the high court's ruling while human rights advocates lamented the failure to end the policy. We explain what it means for migrants and what they can expect in the coming months.


After a flurry of rulings and litigation, the Supreme Court ruled this Tuesday that Title 42 – which was due to end on December 21 – will remain in place “for now”, while thousands of migrants waited at the border, under extreme weather, for the end of express expulsions under the argument of the coronavirus pandemic.

The president, Joe Biden, assured that he will abide by the order of the highest court, which will rule on the case again in June 2023. But by then, Biden said, "it will be too late."

[The Supreme Court maintains Title 42 "for now": the Government will continue to expel migrants expressly]

As it has previously stated

, the government will prepare for the end of the measure

and to "manage the border in a safe, orderly, and humane manner," said the White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, in a statement in who insists that Title 42 "is a public health measure, not an immigration measure, and should not be extended indefinitely."

Republican officials have welcomed the Court's ruling while human rights organizations lamented that the policy was not ended, but what implications does it have for migrants and what can they expect in the coming months?

This is what experts say:

The expulsions continue

For now — and until the supreme court rules on whether states have

jurisdiction to question decisions and policies of the federal government that affect their territories and populations—,

the situation at the border will continue to function as it has done in recent years

, immigration lawyer Mario Lovo explained to Telemundo News.

The continuation of Title 42 is a bucket of cold water on thousands of migrants

Dec 28, 202201:15

For him, maintaining the policy established by former President Donald Trump in 2020 benefits Biden "even though he opposes that in the courts."

Unfortunately, he said, "there is no longer space in the shelters" that have received thousands of migrants and the Court's decision will not facilitate the process for those who were waiting at the border for a resolution that had compassion due to the cold in winter.

"A lot of people have already sold their things and there are thousands in the middle of the road," said Lovo.

[The Supreme Court of Justice upholds Title 42, but migrants continue to cross the border]

Before the ruling was made public, some people managed to cross into the United States and have slept in the streets, braving the low temperatures.

A Honduran family, who traveled with five children, spoke to Telemundo News on Tuesday under anonymity and asked for help.

"Being enduring in the streets with this cold is a lot of suffering," said the mother.

Misladi Barrera, a woman of Cuban origin who was reunited with her son for the first time in three years, told Noticias Telemundo that the hardest part of the experience was "passing the river, very cold, many days without sleep."

"I haven't seen my mother for many years and here she is with me, thank God," added her son, Randy Morales.

A Venezuelan child leans out of the bars of the border wall in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, on December 27, 2022.HERIKA MARTINEZ / AFP via Getty Images

Those who manage to enter the country face other challenges such as the backlog of millions of cases in the different instances of the US immigration system.

At least 1.6 million asylum applications are still pending, according to data from Syracuse University. 

"That's a huge problem

," Lovo said.

It is “completely unfair that cases of people with good petitions for immigration remedies are delayed and the problem is that (the authorities) do not end up prioritizing anything,” he added.

["You must do your job": Texas's response to sending migrants to the house of Kamala Harris]

The lawyer, based in Miami, considers that until today it has not been "able to vocalize, much less execute a consistent policy" on immigration matters.

Those who arrive through the border points, he said, must deal with "Russian roulette" that have been the measures established by the authorities to release them.

“One is put on

parole

and shielded, another is sent to court, another is forced to wear a shackle and report and when he comes to do so they tell him to return, a Cuban is given a court date and they make it difficult for him to adjustment, they give

parole

to another and let him adjust to the year ”, he questioned.

"There is no consistency, not even in the inconsistency itself."

Will the states be able to question government decisions?

“The Court is not interested in determining whether the president can suspend Title 42: the Court is only interested in the concept that the states can sue the federal government and stop what the government is doing,” explained the constitutional lawyer, Joseph Malouf, to Telemundo News.

Migrants warm up by a campfire after spending the night along the US-Mexico border fence on December 22, 2022. John Moore / Getty Images

Malouf refers to another of the pending court cases that will have to determine in June whether or not the states can challenge decisions and policies of the federal government before the courts, after the 19 Republican states that appealed to the Court to maintain Title 42 , also demanded an answer to that question.

"The Court has it complicated," said Lovo.

“There are some who say that the decision will be to give the authority to the states.

Others, I include myself, that it should be a federal decision to avoid the balkanization of decisions that the states would issue, ”he settled.

That is to say, that there is no uniformity in terms of the rules and they are fragmented between the territories.

"We are disappointed": reactions to the Court's decision

In a joint statement, different human rights organizations reacted to the court's decision and agreed that, if the policy continues, more vulnerable people "are left in legal limbo and exposed to grave danger."

Under this rule, more than 2.4 million migrants have been expelled since 2020. According to the statement, only in the Biden Administration, "

more than 13,000 violent attacks against people expelled to Mexico have been documented

."

“A number that represents just the tip of the iceberg,” lamented Melissa Crow, director of litigation at the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies.

The anguishing process of a Nicaraguan family with two children kidnapped in Mexico

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“Although we are disappointed by this result, we are not discouraged.

We will continue to fight for justice until people seeking safety are welcome,” wrote Karla Vargas, staff attorney with the Texas Civil Rights Project's Beyond Borders program.

Others like Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a re-elected Republican in the November elections and a staunch opponent of programs like DACA, called the ruling "a huge victory."

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“I will do everything in my power to help protect our border,” Paxton tweeted.

The Republican governor of Iowa, Kim Reynolds, also welcomed the decision and assured in a statement that "this is only a temporary solution to a crisis that President Biden and his Administration have ignored for two years."

They warn that Title 42 is still in force at the border and that the authorities continue to apply it

Dec 26, 202200:26

The judgment of the Court was approved with five votes in favor and four against.

The conservative judge, Neil Gorsuch, suggested in a dissenting opinion that the ruling appeared to have more to do with the situation on the southern border than with the legal issues in the case.

Although he considered that the republican states could have valid concerns,

"the crisis at the border is not a crisis due to COVID-19,"

he noted, on the basis of the measure that was initially based on health reasons related to the pandemic.

[With “papers”, “shackles” and “phones” the authorities are freeing migrants in San Antonio]

The news agency The Associated Press reported that Biden is scheduled to meet in January with the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

The use of Title 42, the AP noted, also depends on Mexico's willingness to accept people from certain countries who are expelled from the United States.

Although it receives immigrants from places like El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras or Mexico, it does not do so with those from Cuba or Nicaragua, for example.

Alex Roland contributed to this reporting.

Source: telemundo

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