NYIC condemns US Supreme Court injunction on Caribbean asylum seekers

Murad Awawdeh
NYIC/Murad Awawdeh

The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), an umbrella policy and advocacy organization that represents over 200 immigrant and refugee rights groups throughout New York, on Monday denounced an injunction by the United States Supreme Court granting an appeal to temporarily pause termination of a public health measure to block Caribbean and other migrants from seeking asylum in the US.

The measure, known as Title 42, was first invoked by the Donald Trump administration during the COVID-19 pandemic and continued by the Joe Biden administration. 

US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Monday granted the emergency appeal by 19 states, led by Republicans, to temporarily pause  termination of Title 42. A trial judge had ordered that Title 42 be terminated on December 21.

“The Supreme Court’s decision to pause termination of Title 42 is a clear distortion of justice for those seeking asylum in our country,” NYIC’s Executive Director Murad Awawdeh told Caribbean Life. “Time and again, it has been proven that Title 42 has been a xenophobic policy operating under the guise of public health. 

“For the Supreme Court to interfere with ending Title 42 is wholly immoral, as they further legitimize a racist policy that has caused irreparable harm to thousands of people and families seeking freedom and safety in our country,” he added. 

“It is critical at this moment that our leaders in the White House and Congress renew their commitment to protect asylum seekers by expanding meaningful protections without delay,” Awawdeh continued. 

The order by Chief Justice Roberts, called administrative stay, is temporary, allowing the US highest court more time to consider whether to continue Title 42. 

In early 2020, the Trump administration instituted the measure, stating that it was necessary amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But critics countered that the measure was a tactic to deport migrants, including Haitians and Venezuelans. 

Since Title 42 was invoked more than 2.3 million migrants have been deported from the United States, according to immigration advocates.

 The US Department of Homeland Security said in a statement on Monday that it will comply with the US Supreme Court’s order. 

“As required by the Supreme Court’s administrative stay order, the Title 42 public health order will remain in effect at this time, and individuals who attempt to enter the United States unlawfully will continue to be expelled to Mexico,” it said. 

“While this stage of the litigation proceeds, we will continue our preparations to manage the border in a safe, orderly and humane way, when the Title 42 public health order lifts,” it added. 

“We urge Congress to use this time to provide the funds we have requested for border security and management, and advance the comprehensive immigration measures President Biden proposed on his first day in office,” the Department of Homeland Security continued.