SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Innovation Law Lab, an immigrant advocacy organization, and a family from El Salvador filed a motion to intervene in a federal lawsuit over the Biden administration’s order to end Title 42.
It comes on the heels of a federal district court judge issuing a temporary restraining order blocking the Biden administration’s order to end Title 42 on May 23.
According to Innovation Law Lab’s motion, any restraining order requiring the continuation of the policy should apply only to states that have gone to court to stop the end of Title 42, including Arizona and Texas.
The group claims Title 42 should end, as planned, in California and New Mexico.
It says judges have increasingly granted requests from single states resulting in changes to immigration policy for the entire country when the alleged harm does not extend beyond the state’s boundaries.
“We cannot allow state governments to dictate national immigration policy and eviscerate asylum by judicial fiat,” said Tess Hellgren, deputy legal director of Innovation Law Lab. “Our organization has spent much of the past two years striving to provide services that are blockaded by the cruel, racist policy that is Title 42, we can’t go on like this, and neither can individuals and families in need of protection.”
Title 42 was put in place at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic by the Trump administration when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested that, as part of the Public Health Service Act of 1944 aimed at preventing the spread of communicable diseases in the country, migrants should be stopped from entering the U.S. out of fear they might be carrying the COVID-19 virus.
The policy allows U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and Border patrol agents to expel migrants from the country soon after being apprehended and before they can ask for asylum.
The idea that migrants were carriers of the virus has never been proven, and many public-health and medical professionals have debunked the theory.
Innovation Law Lab’s motion was filed on behalf of Alicia Duran, who has been living in Tijuana unable to ask for asylum in the U.S.
Duran, her partner and her daughter, reportedly fled El Salvador after facing death threats back home.
According to the motion, Duran and her family have been turned away by CBP officers due to Title 42, it also claims Duran’s family has relatives with legal immigration status “waiting to receive them in California.”
Along with Innovation Law Lab, Duran and her family are being represented by the Center for Immigration Law and Policy at the UCLA School of Law and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild.