Judge grants Homeland Security five-week reprieve to end Title 42 border asylum policy, but only if Mexico agrees not to return migrants.
May 29, 2019 02:21 pm
Last week, a federal court in San Diego ordered the Trump administration to make public any additional details about its “zero tolerance” policy that separated some family members of thousands of illegal children who entered the United States. As expected, Customs and Border Protection (CBP)—the organization responsible for the separation policy—refused to do so. Instead, CBP cited the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, claiming that the government cannot force citizens to reveal details about how individuals enter the U.S.
The problem, however, is that the Fifth Amendment is not an adequate legal defense for CBP. While the Fifth Amendment bars the federal government from punishing citizens for crimes they did not commit, there are other ways to punish people who “enter” the country illegally. Those include a series of immigration statutes—all of which are part of Title 42 of the U.S. Code—that impose additional forms of punishment on people who enter the U.S. without authorization, such as making it harder to naturalize, denying them the chance to earn citizenship, and denying them due process rights. In fact, federal courts have repeatedly ruled that Title 42 immigration statutes are constitutional.
The Trump administration has already been forced to revise its zero tolerance policy twice, and CBP should not have to face a third court order to do so. As a result, the Trump administration also needs to withdraw its unconstitutional “zero tolerance” policy and end the use of Title 42 immigration statutes as a way to punish illegal immigration. In the meantime, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California has already rejected the claim that the Fifth Amendment prevents the federal government from asking people about their citizenship status.
On Monday, a federal district court in San Francisco ruled that the Trump administration must produce the full list of children separated from their parents and to explain in detail how they obtained a court order to take those children from their parents. That order, however, is only a one