AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

AILA Condemns SCOTUS Ruling Extending Title 42 Border Expulsion Policy

12/27/22 AILA Doc. No. 22122788. Admissions & Border

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) condemns today’s Supreme Court ruling that allows a public health expulsion order known as “Title 42” to remain in place for now, putting on hold a judge’s ruling that would have ended the program last week. Title 42 is a Trump-era immigration policy implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic and continued by the Biden Administration to quickly expel people seeking protection at our borders without the opportunity to apply for asylum.

In a 5-4 holding, the Supreme Court permits several states to continue to block the Biden Administration’s plans to wind down Title 42. The decision is in response to the latest in a series of efforts by states to inappropriately interfere with executive branch policies. The dissenting Justices stated the obvious: “[they] are a court of law, not policymakers of last resort.”

AILA President Jeremy McKinney stated, “Keeping Title 42 in place for now will only lead to additional harm for those fleeing violence, persecution, and poverty. This policy, put into place by the Trump Administration under the guise of a public health law, is cruel and should be ended. It also further erodes public confidence in the United States Supreme Court and its conservative majority seemingly content with permitting Republican-led state governments to use federal public health measures for political gain.”

AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson added, “There are many things needed at the border, but Title 42 isn’t one of them. Instead, we should look at modernizing our immigration system by using a whole-of-government approach to bolster efficiency and due process and to alleviate pressure on the southern border. For example, we should expand infrastructure at Ports of Entry to accommodate increased migration flows, expand and improve legal channels for coming to the U.S., and grow community-based case management programs to reduce reliance on costly, inhumane detention. It is both possible and imperative to have humane, orderly, and effective border processing without undermining our asylum system or our international obligations.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.