Biden Administration, GOP Use Public Well being to Make Coverage
- In March 2020, the Trump administration used the pandemic to justify closing the asylum system.
- Under President Biden, children and some families can now also apply for asylum.
- But despite GOP claims, the government has not pursued an “open border” policy.
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In times of crisis, foreigners are historically scapegoated by politicians, easily and conveniently made responsible for the problems that are allowed to linger here at home – and are themselves unable to vote out the legislature.
With Florida now accounting for nearly a quarter of all new COVID-19 cases in the United States and the Delta variant forcing Disney World to bring back mandatory masking, Governor Ron DeSantis made President Joe’s supposedly “open border” policy this month Biden responsible. “All the variants that exist all over the world,” he claimed, “they come over this southern border.”
It was a harrowing feat from a Republican who has held back against basic public health measures and insisted on keeping eating indoors – and without a mask – during the various waves of the pandemic. He has also banned mask mandates from various local institutions and banned vaccination passes. DeSantis has even boasted its own open border policy, welcoming visitors from across the country to its “haven of freedom” to widely accepted public health decisions designed to contain our ongoing pandemic.
Viruses don’t discriminate based on nationality, but that doesn’t apply to politicians.
And it’s not just one side of the aisle. The Democrats are now responsible for border policy, and while they don’t handle it in the same way as the Trump administration before it, that policy is in many ways a policy of continuity, not change: For most people, the US will remain closed. And the allowed trickle is certainly not responsible for more than 20,000 new cases per day in the Sunshine State.
Under a Trump policy called “Title 42,” a policy guideline from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Biden government has denied hundreds of thousands of internationally recognized asylum rights and instead expelled them immediately from the country . The policy that effectively closes the border due to the pandemic is “not an immigration agency, but a public health agency,” according to the US Department of Homeland Security.
Continue reading: In three battles that prepared Vice President Kamala Harris to fight immigration on the US-Mexico border
However, according to the Wall Street Journal, people in government did not see it that way during the Trump years. Last year, the newspaper reported, the exact same order “met with deep resistance from senior officials at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, not from public health experts but from Stephen Miller, the former president’s far-right , designed “. Immigration advisor. And it was rejected at the time by a number of external medical experts who advocated testing and quarantine instead of a blanket ban.
The Biden government has made exceptions to Title 42. Unaccompanied children are no longer subject to the policy. And many families crossing the Rio Grande have been able to stay to pursue their asylum applications – not because the administration wants it per se, but because the state governments in Mexico are now refusing to return.
There is no reason to believe that a child is less likely to carry the virus than their mother or father, or a single adult crossing the border. It’s a question of optics and a liberal feeling. It doesn’t look good to send children back south of the border to prey; for an adult who may be fleeing the same violence and political repression, tolerance of inhumanity is far greater, even if it also leads to family separation.
This is problematic under international law. Under the Refugee Convention, to which the USA committed itself in 1951, the signatories are obliged to examine all asylum applications – even in times of war or other “exceptional circumstances”, the contract only allows certain exceptions in individual cases, which still make an actual decision on the asylum seeker’s application require.
“The US has the right to detain asylum seekers pending COVID test results, a sensible measure to protect the critical interests of Americans during a pandemic,” James Hathaway, professor at the University of Michigan Law School, told Insider. “But it is unlawful to respond with a general blunderbuss policy, closing borders to asylum seekers, or refusing to process their applications in the normal way – which Title 42 does.”
The American Civil Liberties Union Agrees: Sues enforcement of the order.
“We’ve given the Biden administration more than enough time to fix any problems left by the Trump administration,” said Lee Gelernt, an ACLU attorney in a statement, “but it left us no choice but to do before To return court. “
Legitimacy aside, some medical experts no longer see any justification for Title 42 either when the Trump administration introduced it in March 2020.
“It feels like this ‘public health’ exclusion is some kind of pretext,” said Jacqueline Bhabha, professor and researcher at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, in an interview.
In part because the asylum system has been decimated by its predecessor and was already chronically underfunded, the administration is struggling to cope with the influx of migrants it has allowed. Children in a Texas facility have complained of overcrowding and the resulting depression, while testing and quarantining have been left to nonprofit groups by families who have struggled to increase their own capacity to serve hundreds of new people every day.
Continue reading: A former Obama official says the Biden administration is struggling to fix resettlement and asylum for refugees
Republicans scored points in this “border crisis” by abandoning the discourse on personal freedom to advocate a clumsy response to the proliferation of the Delta variant: the ban on freedom of movement, if not for tourists – the most from around the globe, are welcome to visit Disney World – at least for those seeking refuge.
The logistical challenges facing the von Biden government are real, and not solely their fault; even the controversial ACLU acknowledged that it would take time to deal with them. But the government seems to have decided to hide behind contagion fears to justify what is ultimately a PR decision: not to exacerbate what it sees as the lost battle over migration.
Experts can debate whether this is wise policy. But it is not what the United States agreed to do internationally, nor is it internally consistent.
Think about the children: there is a pandemic, yes, but these children have fled here for serious reasons – and this White House has determined that the commitment not to put them at risk can indeed be fulfilled while action is being taken Curbing the public health threat is being taken.
It is just unwilling to extend this logic to others at the moment.
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