Judge rules against Title 42 policy that allowed DHS to expel migrants who have been granted asylum
The Trump administration has been under fire for its “zero tolerance” policy of separating immigrant children from parents while separating adults from children at the border. The new ruling, issued by Justice Department lawyers on Friday, will send a clear signal that migrant families who may be separated and prosecuted for entering the United States illegally are not to blame: they should not be punished for being at the border.
The case came to light this week after several attorneys who represented the children and adults whose rights were violated by the new policy filed a class-action lawsuit against the government. The case, which was first filed by the American Civil Liberties Union last month, was consolidated with a suit filed last spring by the American Immigration Council. They are currently seeking class-action status.
If the administration’s policy were upheld, the children, some as young as 5, would be left alone with their jailed and possibly deported parents, according to the ACLU, while adults who have been illegally present in the country for years would be separated from their children for months while they continue to be prosecuted.
“This would be a disaster for children’s safety and could lead to the deportation of thousands of parents,” said Nancy Calo, the director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. “The government should not be able to get away with separating families who enter the country illegally.”
The Trump administration’s new policy, dubbed “zero tolerance,” was meant to punish those at the border, who were determined to have crossed the border unlawfully, with criminal charges, including child endangerment and aggravated deported. Yet nearly all of the asylum-seekers who have been charged with crossing the border illegally were not charged with child endangerment.
The policy also included civil immigration charges for adults who entered the country without authorized documents. Under these charges, an adult is deemed “inadmissible”