Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy welcomes the decision of US District Judge Emmet Sullivan to strike down the controversial Title 42 immigration policy, a public health law that was manipulated to expel vulnerable asylum seekers at our border. Judge Sullivan ruled the law was “arbitrary and capricious” and faulted the US government for “its decision to ignore the harm that could be caused” by issuing the policy. He reluctantly granted the Biden administration’s request for a stay; the ruling will be on hold until midnight December 21st.
On December 27, 2022, the US Supreme Court granted the motion of states including (but not limited to) Texas and Louisiana to stay Judge Sullivan’s vacatur of Title 42 until a full Supreme Court hearing on the policy can take place. The hearing is expected to occur in February or March and a final decision is unlikely to be issued until June.
Immigrant Justice Program Director, Sharon Dove commented on the ruling saying, “We firmly believe that it is necessary to lift Title 42 to ensure safe, legal entry to migrants who qualify for asylum. Allowing this false public health measure to remain in place did not resolve the ongoing crisis at the border and we urge the Biden administration to protect those who need it the most. We advocate for policies to ensure fair and humane treatment of asylum seekers and pledge to continue our internal efforts to assist asylum seekers in our community.”
After Title 42 is lifted, those seeking asylum in the U.S. will still face an uphill battle. As of January 2022, wait times for an asylum hearing averaged five years. We must continue to advocate for fair and humane asylum policies, as well as sufficient staffing, resources, and coordination with organizations working with asylum seekers on both sides of the border. These efforts will ensure due process and the equitable treatment of all people seeking protection.