AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

AILA Welcomes Federal Court Decision to End Title 42; Implementation Will Begin in Five Weeks

11/16/22 AILA Doc. No. 22111602. Admissions & Border, Asylum

Washington, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) welcomes the decision from U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan striking down the public health law wielded by the Trump Administration as a weapon against asylum seekers as “arbitrary and capricious.” The decision has been stayed for five weeks; it will be implemented beginning December 21, 2022.

AILA President Jeremy McKinney stated, “Judge Sullivan’s decision to end Title 42 was the right thing to do, legally and morally. Invoking Title 42 in 2020, despite documented questioning by the Centers for Disease Control itself about its impact, caused immense harm to vulnerable asylum seekers who were expelled by border agents without having the chance to seek protection. This decision, once implemented, will not only make the southern border safer, it will also restore the rule of law. Seeking protection from persecution and torture is legal. Stripping vulnerable populations of that process under the guise of public health is illegal, as Judge Sullivan ruled.”

AILA Executive Director Ben Johnson added, “The era of misusing a public health law at the border is thankfully nearly over, and I shudder to think of the countless asylum seekers blocked from even asking for protection under Title 42. As we close this painful chapter, we cannot shift from an expulsion policy to a rigid and punishing detention policy. Alternatives to detention operated by community-based organizations are humane and effective in helping migrants navigate immigration processes, and less expensive than private prisons. We urge the Biden administration to focus efforts on alternatives to detention as the use of Title 42 is ended. These have been dark days, as a public health law has been used as a border wall. It is heartening to look forward to a day when America’s beacon of hope and safety will again shine bright.”