The Supreme Court on Monday, December 19, upheld a measure implemented in March 2020 by the US authorities in the name of the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, which allows the deportation of potential immigrants, even asylum seekers.
An order signed by Supreme Court President John Roberts suspended the removal, scheduled for Wednesday, of that measure, titled “Title 42.”
In March 2020, former President Donald Trump’s administration activated this health care system to deport immigration candidates arrested at national borders without delay. This measure was immediate, did not allow legal recourse and did not entail automatic return to the country of origin.
That unit was originally set to end on May 23, but a Louisiana judge had blocked its repeal. On November 15, a federal judge in Washington, on the contrary, demanded that President Joe Biden put an end to the deportations provided by this unit, and the repeal of “Title 42” was scheduled for Monday before midnight.
But 20 conservative US states filed an emergency appeal with the Supreme Court on Monday, asking it to block the federal judge’s decision. The highest US court granted them satisfaction pending a decision in the case.
This public health measure was originally enacted in 1893 to protect the United States from the numerous cholera and yellow fever epidemics occurring at the time. It has only very rarely been implemented since.
Violations of international laws
According to human rights activists and experts, “Title 42” is a violation of international law. In particular, they consider “inhuman” to prevent a potential asylum seeker from making such a request.
For them, the current system only encourages migrants to cross the border illegally and to take ever greater risks to do so. A total of 557 deaths were recorded on the border with Mexico in 2021, by far the deadliest year since statistics began in 1998.