President Biden’s Department of Justice is actively defending two Trump-era immigration policies in court.
Background: On the campaign field and after winning the 2020 election, Joe Biden made it clear he would immediately work to rescind a number of his predecessor’s border policies.
President Trump enacted immigration policy Title 42, which allowed for families to be separated at the border or turned away altogether to help curb the spread of Covid-19.
In 2020, reports leaked that President Biden is considering giving families separated at the border financial compensation.
What Happened: The Justice Department is now defending the lawfulness of separating people at the border and is fighting against compensating the families.
The DOJ has asked courts in Pennsylvania and Florida to throw out cases brought by migrant families.
Sharon Swingle, a DOJ lawyer representing the Biden administration, defended Title 42 against termination on grounds of protecting border officials against Covid-19.
“The government’s goal is to get back to a state of orderly immigration processing for everyone, but currently, in CDC’s view, the public health realities don’t permit that,” said Swingle, who also cited the recent rapid spread of the omicron variant.
What Republicans Say: Stephen Yale-Loehr, a professor of immigration law at Cornell Law School, defended Trump’s border policies.
“Every administration wants to have as much flexibility and discretion as it can on immigration because you never know what conditions will arise in the future,” he said. (per Newsmax)
What Democrats Say: Karla Marisol Vargas, a lawyer with the Texas Civil Rights Project slammed the Justice Department for defending the Trump-era immigration policies.
“It is shameful that an administration that ran on a belief in science and welcoming people with dignity continues to manipulate an obscure public health rule to violate the basic human rights of asylum seekers.” (per Newsmax)