Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

A DHS agent talks to a woman and her child after they crossed into the U.S. from Mexico

A U.S. Border Patrol agent talks to Kelyn Castro and her son José Anderson Castro, who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border after traveling from El Salvador on June 2, 2021 in La Joya, Texas. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Lawsuit Initiated Against Trump for 'Illegal' Deportations Resumes Against Biden

"We gave the Biden administration more than enough time to fix any problems left behind by the Trump administration, but it has left us no choice but to return to court."

Julia Conley

A week after the Biden administration signaled its willingness to go to great lengths to expel refugees from the U.S. with its adoption of an "expedited removal" procedure at the southern border, several human rights groups announced Monday that they are taking the White House to court over its denial of due process to migrants.

"The administration is choosing to treat refugees like political pawns, and so we are eager to return to court so we can end Title 42 for families once and for all."
—Noah Gottschalk, Oxfam America

 
The ACLU, RAICES, and Oxfam are among the groups who said they are returning to court with a lawsuit first initiated against the Trump administration for its use of a provision known as Title 42 in order to carry out expedited deportations during the Covid-19 pandemic.
 
The Trump administration claimed it had authority under Title 42 to invoke the Public Health Service Act of 1944 in order to keep asylum-seekers and other immigrants out of the U.S. in the name of public health. 
 
Rights groups have called on President Joe Biden to end the use of Title 42, but last week advocates were outraged when DHS announced that instead of revoking the policy, it would begin using expedited removal to quickly deport families who Mexican officials have refused to accept.
 
The organizations filed a joint motion (pdf) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, saying they "seek to resume litigation" as discussions over the policy between the groups and the government "have reached an impasse."
 
The ACLU said the Trump administration implemented Title 42 "in violation of longstanding immigration statutes requiring that asylum seekers receive a full and fair proceeding to determine their right to protection in the United States," and denounced the Biden administration for doing the same in the first six months of Biden's presidency. 
 
"We gave the Biden administration more than enough time to fix any problems left behind by the Trump administration, but it has left us no choice but to return to court," said Lee Gelernt, the lead attorney on the case. "Families' lives are at stake."
 
According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), Customs and Border Protection carried out more than 642,700 expulsions under Title 42 between March 2020 and April 2021, "typically without conducting the required screenings."
 
"The consequences of returning asylum seekers to danger can be catastrophic—resulting in sexual assault, torture, and death," the group said.
 
According to HRW, "Congress specifically kept any reference to immigrants or immigration out of the law’s text because of concerns that public health authority could be used to discriminate against immigrants."
 
"It's beyond cruel to use an obscure public health rule to turn away families seeking safety without due process and functionally shut down our asylum system—it's illegal," said Karla Marisol Vargas, a senior attorney at the Texas Civil Rights Project, which is joining the ACLU as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.
 
Oxfam America added that the continued use of Title 42 "won't stop the spread of COVID or prevent people who are literally fleeing for their lives from seeking safety in the U.S."
 
"The administration is choosing to treat refugees like political pawns, and so we are eager to return to court so we can end Title 42 for families once and for all," said Noah Gottschalk, global policy lead for the organization. 

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Just a few days left in our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

'Witness Intimidation. Clear as Day': Jan. 6 Panel Teases Evidence of Cover-Up Effort

"Add witness tampering to the laundry list of crimes Trump and his allies must be charged with," said professor Robert Reich.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Bombshell After Bombshell' Dropped as Jan. 6 Testimony Homes In On Trump Guilt

"Hutchinson's testimony of the deeply detailed plans of January 6 and the inaction of those in the White House in response to the violence show just how close we came to a coup," said one pro-democracy organizer.

Brett Wilkins ·


Mark Meadows 'Did Seek That Pardon, Yes Ma'am,' Hutchinson Testifies

The former aide confirmed that attorney Rudy Giuliani also sought a presidential pardon related to the January 6 attack.

Jessica Corbett ·


UN Chief Warns of 'Ocean Emergency' as Leaders Confront Biodiversity Loss, Pollution

"We must turn the tide," said Secretary-General António Guterres. "A healthy and productive ocean is vital to our shared future."

Julia Conley ·


'I Don't F—ing Care That They Have Weapons': Trump Wanted Security to Let Armed Supporters March on Capitol

"They're not here to hurt me," Trump said on the day of the January 6 insurrection, testified a former aide to ex-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo