September 28, 2022

SUCCESS: President Biden rolls back Trump-era immigration restrictions from Covid

SUCCESS: President Biden rolls back Trump-era immigration restrictions from Covid

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A Trump-era immigration rule is gone now that the Biden Administration has taken action to end the medical emergency at our border as the Covid-19 pandemic’s effects recede in America.

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It’s not easy to end immigration restrictions when Republicans are always searching for ways to sue away new policies, which worked when a federal judge in ultra-conservative Texas reversed President Biden’s immigration enforcement priority orders last August.

But the end of Title 42, which is the Trump Administration’s policy to prevent immigration because of a public health crisis, will not be so easy to re-instate from the anti-vaxxing GOP since it is based on science. NPR reports:

The spread of COVID-19 by migrants apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border has “ceased to be a serious danger to the public health,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky wrote.

Let’s be real though: the Trump-era policy wasn’t based on science. It was based on racism, and the coronavirus pandemic merely provided a convenient excuse for right-wing extremists who used to run the White House.

In 2018, Stephen Miller, the white supremacist Trump administration official in charge of anti-immigrant policy, was busy trying to find an even harsher method of separating migrant children from their parents.

In a 2018 White House meeting, he presented a plan to expand the “zero-tolerance policy”. Every immigrant who crossed the U.S. border illegally would be prosecuted, including parents with small children. Miller wanted more children from their families, even if they were going through civil court proceedings. Eleven of Trump’s most senior advisers were in this meeting and were asked whether they support this cruel policy of family separation by a show-of- hands-vote.

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At the meeting, Miller said, “If we don’t enforce this, it is the end of our country as we know it.”

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That is how a racist extremist like Stephen Miller – whose mission is to ensure that the United States remains a majority white country – governs when Republicans are elected.

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Miller sprung into action and helped implement the directive called Title 42.

It effectively eliminated access to legal asylum in the United States under the premise of stopping migrants at the border that might be infected with the virus. The directive was never justified by science, and public health officials were uniform in their criticism of it.

Even Dr. Anthony Fauci debunked the racially motivated lie spread by Republicans that immigrants are to blame for the spread of COVID-19. When he was asked if there was truth to these claims during a CNN interview, Fauci resolutely replied, “no, absolutely not.”

Millions of travelers come in and out of the United States through airports and ports that are not screened with the same level of intensity. We have the methods to do health screenings of immigrants and provide them with masks, tests, and vaccination as they seek refuge in our country. Title 42’s purpose is not about upholding public health; its goal is to keep out as many migrants as possible while propagating wrong and hateful rhetoric suggesting that immigrants bring diseases into this country.

It is great news that the Biden administration will end Title 42 restrictions on the US-Mexico border by May 23.

His decision has widespread support among Democrats, civil rights organizations, and public health experts familiar with the issue and the harmful effects of this policy.

 

After the atrocities of World War II, the right to seek asylum was incorporated into international law. Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says, “everyone has the right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution in other countries.”

Congress adopted key provisions of the Geneva Refugee Convention into U.S. immigration law when it passed the Refugee Act of 1980.

Ending Title 42 and respecting the national and international rights of asylum seekers and refugees is the right decision.

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Voters did not vote to make Joe Biden the 46th president of the United States to continue Trump-era policies at the border, particularly those devised by reprehensible individuals like Stephen Miller.

And now we are letting science guide our immigration policy instead of the Trump-era GOP’s worst racists.

This is a major win for Democrats.

Thomas Kennedy is an elected Democratic National Committee member representing Florida. He tweets from @tomaskenn.

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Thomas Kennedy

is a reported opinion columnist and roving correspondent. He's an elected member of the Democratic National Committee from Florida and a Director of Sunshine Agenda Inc. a government transparency nonprofit organization.

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