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Comment on Title 42 Immigration Stay Ruling

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WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., is allowing a Trump-era anti-immigration rule to temporarily go into effect as the case, P.J.E.S v. Pekoske, is litigated.

The lawsuit involves a challenge to a Trump administration policy that authorizes the summary removal of unaccompanied children without any due process — even if the child is fleeing danger and seeking protection in the United States and shows no signs of having COVID-19.

In November 2020, a federal court blocked the Trump administration’s “Title 42” order in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, Texas Civil Rights Project, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, and Oxfam.

The illegal policy restricts immigration at the border based on an unprecedented and unlawful invocation of the Public Health Service Act, located in Title 42 of the U.S. Code.

Under longstanding immigration statutes, children should receive a full and fair proceeding to determine their right to protection in the United States.

The Trump administration sought an appeals court stay of that ruling, which was granted today.

The following reactions are from:

ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt, the lead lawyer in this case: “This is only a temporary setback. We will continue to litigate this case on behalf of these vulnerable unaccompanied children, who are in need of protection and legally entitled to apply for asylum. But we hope the Biden administration will not make ongoing litigation necessary by rescinding this illegal policy created by the Trump administration.”

Jamie Crook, director of litigation at the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies: “Human rights advocates and medical experts alike recognize this Trump administration policy for what it is: an illegal attempt to weaponize the pandemic against unaccompanied children and other refugees. The Biden administration can and should use its authority to end this dangerous practice once and for all.”

Noah Gottschalk, Global Policy lead at Oxfam, said: “Not one more child should be expelled as a result of this illegal and immoral Trump administration policy and not one more family should suffer the pain of separation. Next week, President Biden plans to rescind many of the Trump administration's harmful immigration policies and he must not miss the opportunity to withdraw this hateful order once and for all.”

Notes to Editors:

Order: https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/dc-appeals-court-stay-order

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