The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration’s new asylum restrictions, which were announced as the controversial Title 42 policy expired. Title 42, a public health order put in place by former President Trump, allowed for the immediate expulsion of migrants and asylum-seekers, citing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new asylum restrictions, announced by the Biden administration, require asylum-seekers to apply in a designated third country, rather than in the United States. The ACLU argues that this policy violates both domestic and international laws and is a violation of the rights of those seeking asylum.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., seeks to block the new policy and asks the court to declare it unconstitutional.
The ACLU argues that the policy is in direct contradiction to the United States’ obligation to provide asylum to those fleeing persecution and violence in their home countries. The organization also argues that the policy is discriminatory, as it disproportionately affects individuals from Central America.
Critics of the new policy have also pointed out that many of the designated third countries, such as Mexico and Guatemala, do not have the infrastructure or resources to provide adequate asylum processing and protection.
The Biden administration has defended the policy, arguing that it is necessary to address the surge in migration at the southern border and to discourage irregular migration. However, the policy has faced significant pushback from immigrant rights groups and some members of Congress, who argue that it is a violation of human rights.
The expiration of Title 42 has also sparked concerns about the potential spread of COVID-19 among migrants and in border communities. Some public health experts have called for alternative measures to be put in place to ensure the safety of both migrants and the broader public.
As the legal battle over the new asylum restrictions continues, the fate of thousands of asylum-seekers remains uncertain. Many have been stuck in border towns for months, waiting for their cases to be heard, while others have been forced to return to dangerous situations in their home countries.
The ACLU lawsuit is just one of several legal challenges to the Biden administration’s immigration policies. As the debate over immigration reform continues, the fate of those seeking asylum in the United States hangs in the balance.