The second-to-last ditch effort by GOP attorneys general to continue anti-asylum policy implemented under political pressure from noted white supremacist Stephen Miller failed on Friday, when an appeals court rejected their request to delay its end.
The Biden administration is set to lift the debunked Title 42 order on Dec. 21, following a federal judge’s ruling last month. In its ruling last week, a D.C. Court of Appeals panel said the group of 19 GOP states simply waited too long to file their request, CBS News reported. "In this case, the inordinate and unexplained untimeliness of the States' motion to intervene on appeal weighs decisively against intervention," the ruling said. But the states are now running to the Supreme Court’s right-wing justices for help.
RELATED STORY: Biden admin set to lift anti-asylum Title 42 order next week, but GOP appeal may now delay that
"We will appeal this ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday," Arizona attorney general Mark Brnovich told CBS News following the appeals court ruling. "I will continue to fight for the rule of law and to secure our border every minute I'm still attorney general."
“I will continue to fight for the rule of law”? Allowing asylum-seekers to ask for protection at our borders is the rule of law, which should put him on the side of the civil and immigrant rights organizations that have been fighting in court to throw the debunked Title 42 policy into the trash heap. But not only is Brnovich on the side of ignoring our legal obligations to asylum-seekers, he’s also looked the other way as his state’s governor, Doug Ducey, has been illegally building a shipping container “wall” on federal land. That’s been going on since the summer. Where’s the emergency order to stop that, Mark?
I can’t guess what the Supreme Court will say to the GOP states’ request. It is a right-wing court that this past summer did rule that the Biden administration had the authority to end Remain in Mexico, another anti-asylum policy implemented by the previous administration. The lower court order against Title 42 last month found the policy “violates the Administrative Procedures Act and argued that it’s ‘arbitrary and capricious,'" NBC News reported at the time.
DHS said it “has led a whole-of-government plan to prepare for and manage” the lifting of Title 42, with an updated plan released earlier this month. What the lifting of the policy means is that it returns us to how the U.S. asylum system functioned the day before Miller and former Mike Pence bullied public health officials into signing off on the order, experts said. “In three days, @CBP might be required to start using immigration law to respond to people crossing the border,” American Immigration Council Policy Director Aaron Reichlin-Melnick tweeted this past weekend. “For incredibly absurd reasons, some people are describing the resumption of normal immigration laws in effect for decades as ‘opening the border.’”
"To be clear: the lifting of the Title 42 public health order does not mean the border is open," White House assistant press secretary Abdullah Hasan told CBS News. "Anyone who suggests otherwise is doing the work of smugglers spreading misinformation to make a quick buck off of vulnerable migrants."
While immigration enforcement is solely a job of the federal government, Republican states could play their part by, say, not attacking the non-governmental organizations that aid migrants who have already been processed and released by federal immigration officials. But instead Republicans at the federal and state level have launched intimidation campaigns against organizations like Catholic Charities, which aids migrants with meals, shelter for the night, or a bus ticket. The faith-based organization said it was “incredibly disturbing” to be accused by GOP House members of breaking federal law.
“The ministry of care provided to migrants by Catholic Charities has been ongoing, across multiple administrations, since our founding in 1910,” the organization said. “To care for people who are at-risk, including vulnerable people on the move, is a part of the fabric of the global Catholic Church and is mandated by the gospel.”
“With no basis in public health, [Title 42] came straight out of the Stephen Miller playbook,” tweeted Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president of Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Service. “Not only is it an ineffective enforcement tool driving repeat attempts to cross, blocking asylum is deeply unpopular with voters. Will we see more political stunts around immigration as Title 42 lifts? Sadly, recent history suggests so. But we’re also equally likely to see communities across the US step up and embody the generosity of the American spirit, just as Martha’s Vineyard and others did this year.”
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