As the Biden administration marks its first year in office this week, we look at the president’s ongoing defense of Trump-era anti-immigration policies. Department of Justice lawyers were in court Wednesday to defend the Trump-era order known as Title 42, which has been used to expel hundreds of thousands of migrants at the border without screening them for asylum. The policy was touted as a way to control the spread of COVID-19, even though top CDC officials say it’s not needed to contain the virus. Democracy Now! speaks with the ACLU’s Lee Gelernt, who is the lead lawyer challenging the Biden administration’s use of Title 42.
He accuses the Biden administration of “trying to hide behind CDC” to play politics and says the policy violates international law and is inhumane, as it forces migrants back into dangerous situations they fled from. “The U.S. government is pushing them back over the border,” he says. “The cartels are sitting there at the end of the bridge waiting for them, and yet we continue to push them over.” Gelernt discusses how he was also a part of negotiations to financially compensate migrant parents separated from their children under Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, but Biden cut off the talks after facing Republican criticism.
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