Pressure is mounting on the White House to end its divisive health boundary policy

The pressure campaign is coming at a difficult time for the administration as it juggles lots of competing interests: a signal that America is moving from a pandemic even as the Omicron BA.2 sub-variant spreads, and wants to avoid a will-blow. Be an asylum seeker while receiving refugees from the Ukraine war.

Nearly two million people have been deported on the northern and southwestern land borders by a controversial order known as Title 42, on the grounds that their entry into the U.S. immigration system during a pandemic poses a threat to the health of Americans.

“At the moment, Title 42 is the only policy they have to pursue for the volume of cross-border arrivals,” said Theresa Cardinal Brown, managing director of the Center for Immigration and Cross-Border Policy. “If [it] If they arrived suddenly, they would be required to arrest anyone they met and consider applying for asylum. “They would have a big logistical problem in their hands.”

The administration has said it is preparing for this opportunity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – the agency responsible for calling policy in 2020 – says it is now evaluating the order, which is reviewed every 60 days and ends on March 30th.

“We finally re-evaluated the title at the end of January 42. “As you recall, this was after the peak of our Omicron growth, and we had challenges to the capacity of hospitals across the country,” CDC Director Rochelle Valensky told a news conference Wednesday. “We are currently reviewing the data and evaluating it.”

The set of events renewed the policy this month. On March 4, a DC District Court judge questioned what is the purpose of public health policy at this stage of the pandemic. One week later, the CDC, in response to a separate Texas court ruling, terminated the order for unaccompanied minors but retained it for adults and families.

Since then, Ukrainians fleeing Russian invasion have also opposed the title 42 – and in some cases been acquitted. March 11 Memorandum Accepted POLITICO Reminds staff from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection that the CBP is entitled to make an exception under Title 42, including for Ukrainian citizens, in each case. The CBP did not respond to a request for information on how much was done.

For policy critics, all of these developments undermine his justification for American health care and further undermine the CDC’s reputation as it seeks to regain the nation’s confidence.

“In terms of public health – in terms of protecting people in the United States – it does nothing,” said Ron Waldman, a former CDC epidemiologist and professor of public health at the Milken Institute for George Washington University. “The CDC, as a public health agency, must be guided primarily by science. I believe in this case that they are mistaken in science. ”

The CDC declined to comment and referred to the POLITICO order in previous statements as it relates to accompanying minors.

Title 42, once a vague provision of U.S. health care law, was first enacted by the Trump administration in the early days of the pandemic, and the Biden administration continued to renew the order. Until now it has been used by bypassing 1.7 million people From the land border, most are under the supervision of President Joe Biden.

Immigration advocates and human rights activists argue that migrants arriving at the border are not allowed to seek asylum, that the United States fails to meet its obligations under international humanitarian law, and at the same time considers itself a moral leader of the West under Russia. War with Ukraine.

The advocacy group Human Rights First says it has been About 9900 cases On kidnappings, torture, rape and other assaults on people who were expelled only under the Biden administration under Title 42.

“The idea that Title 42 is kept for anything other than a purely political decision is pointless at this point,” said Sergio Gonzalez, chief executive of the Immigration Hub, a national advocacy group. “How can we expect other European countries to welcome refugees and at the same time defend this horrible policy, which completely undermines the values ​​of our country?”

In March, the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling by a DC Circuit court. In favor of families complaining to the U.S. government In the use of Title 42 in a class suit across the country. The court said that although the government had the right to deport migrants, considering it a health hazard during a public health emergency, it was illegal for the government to deport people to countries where they could. Experience persecution or torture.

The order remains in force until the Biden administration decides to appeal in late April if it completes it earlier.

The judge noted that the federal government had failed to provide any current justification Article 265 of the LawWhich allows the executive to ban people from entering the country during public health emergencies.

“This is March 2022, not March 2020,” wrote Judge Justin Walker. “CDC Order 265 is somewhat like a relic of an era where there were no vaccines, scant testing, few therapies and little reassurance … . But none of that exists. ”

Lee Gellert, an ACLU attorney who argued the case on behalf of the families, said he had not filed a document with the CDC explaining why the title 42 was still needed in terms of public health. “We suspect the CDC no longer thinks there is a justification for public health,” Gellert said. “And so they do not want to swear.”

CDC officials did not elaborate on the title 42. But in a testimony published last fall, Former Deputy Director of the CDC Ann Shuchat He told lawmakers that most of the public health evidence did not support the recall of the order when it first came into force in 2020, and that a senior CDC official in charge of border issues did not support its use.

On March 12, the CDC completed an order for homeless juvenile juveniles who had already stopped deporting the group early last year. A Texas court has issued a preliminary injunction suspending the agency from releasing children accompanying it and questioning why they were treated differently as a public health hazard than adults and families.

ᲡIn response, The agency said in a statement “Given the current state of public health and recent developments, the expulsion of homeless children is not guaranteed to protect public health.”

Completing the order for all migrants – including minors, adults and families – will be a major administrative, humanitarian and political challenge for the administration in the months leading up to this year’s by-elections.

Thursday Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) And 13 other Republican senators Send a letter The Department of Homeland Security is asking Alejandro Mallorca to find out how the Border Guard Agency plans to go if the administration completes the title.

“This is a serious concern that threatens our already tense immigration system and will only exacerbate the catastrophic situation on our southern border,” the senators wrote.

Nevertheless, a Growing points Democratic lawmakers are calling for its end.

“It never made sense to me as a public health policy,” Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas,) told POLITICO. “We know that migrants who are expelled quickly through Title 42 do not stop trying to enter. They are just trying to get somewhere else across the border… if that’s what bothers us [Covid-19] The spread, which essentially creates a bigger spread. “

Others fear that the US – and especially the CDC – is losing credibility by keeping it in place.

Dozens of epidemiologists, public health experts and doctors Wrote a series of letters to the Trump and Biden administrations Monet Zard, director of the University of Columbia’s forced migration and health program and one of the signatories to the letters, said he was asking for the expulsion order to be terminated, but received no response from any of them.

He is among those concerned about the message that the CDC is sending to the world, with permission to extend the order.

“There must be many in search of the soul [in the CDC]”, – said Zard. “We are deeply concerned that public health has been used as a weapon against such a vulnerable population. He certainly does nothing to improve the CDC credibility that he allows himself to use in this way. ”

Pressure is mounting on the White House to end its divisive health boundary policy

Source link Pressure is mounting on the White House to end its divisive health boundary policy

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