About Me

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Beverly Hills, California, United States
Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; eli@elikantorlaw.com. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com


Friday, May 28, 2021

Romero v. Garland

The government may parole a returning lawful permanent resident into the United States for prosecution without proving at the border that the LPR was seeking an admission under 8 U.S.C. §1101(a)(13)(C), when such a determination depends on facts that are not practically ascertainable at the border; but at subsequent removal proceedings, the government must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the returning LPR falls within one of the exceptions under §1101(a)(13)(C).

For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

Magadia v. Wal-Mart Associates

 A plaintiff lacked standing to bring a California Private Attorney General Act claim for an employer’s meal-break violations where he himself did not suffer injury. A violation of California Labor Code §226(a) creates a cognizable Article III injury.

For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com/

Biden official defends Trump-era immigration policy


Biden official defends Trump-era immigration policy
© Washington Examiner/Pool

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Wednesday defended the administration’s retention of a Trump-era policy that allows the swift removal of migrants due to COVID-19 as well as a narrowing in those sought for deportations by law enforcement officials.

The Biden administration is under increasing pressure to scrap Title 42, a policy crafted under the Trump administration that allows officials to immediately turn away adult migrants and asylum-seekers to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

Mayorkas on Wednesday reiterated that administration's position that the policy is necessary as a public health measure even as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issues new guidelines and states and cities around the country dramatically scale back their pandemic restrictions.

“We are watching the science, led by the CDC, and we will no longer rely upon title 42 When there is no longer a public health imperative basis,” Mayorkas told a House Appropriations subcommittee.

"We will not restrict travel one day more than the public health imperative requires. That is the assurance I can give."

The Biden administration has relied on the policy to expel hundreds of thousands of people in recent months. In April alone, DHS used Title 42 to remove more than 110,000 people — more than 62 percent of all people apprehended at the southern border.

Mayorkas was pressured in part by Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) who said the restrictions are especially devastating for border communities that rely on business from Mexico.

“It’s been over a year,” he said, noting that the measure no longer feels like a temporary stopgap to limit spread of the virus.

Mayorkas said DHS was weighing whether to vaccinate its detainees for COVID-19, something he said was “under review.” 

Even as the administration is under scrutiny for its quick expulsions, Mayorkas also faced numerous questions from Republicans on the committee about the administration's new enforcement policy. The directive encourages Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials to focus on those with a serious criminal record, requiring officers to seek approval from a higher-up before deviating from the new parameters. 

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.) likened it to “a near stop of all immigration violation arrests.”

According to The Washington Post, ICE agents now reportedly carry out an average of one arrest every two months, and the agency as a whole deported fewer than 3,000 migrants last month, less than any other time in its recorded history.

“The fact of the matter is that we cannot, with the resources that we have, address the fact that we have over 11 million undocumented individuals in the United States,” Mayorkas responded.

“Immigration and Customs Enforcement are going to be dedicated to the greatest impact on behalf of the American people. We will not be enforcing laws indiscriminately, misusing resources that don't deliver quality worthy investment of resources,” he added later.

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) defended the new priorities, saying it “is the individuals with the highest level of criminality that are now being targeted, which is really the intent in terms of being sure that the American people are safe.”

But Mayorkas echoed comments from ICE acting Director Tae Johnson to the same committee on the 287(g) agreements that partners the agency with local law enforcement.

He said the administration wants to “end the pernicious practices of the past” but said the agreements “have a vital role to play.”

Mayorkas also hinted the administration might be open to more community-based monitoring of immigrants facing deportation, rather than continuing to rely on expensive, prison-based detention facilities.

“One of the things that I have observed is the detention of individuals that do not pose a threat to public safety, or do not pose a risk of flight such that we are not confident in their appearance in future immigration proceedings. I am concerned about the overuse of detention, and where alternatives to detention would suffice...we will indeed be looking at that,” he said.

His comments come shortly after he directed ICE to close two detention facilities with a history of abuse.

For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

Thursday, May 27, 2021

DHS chief expects 'significant changes' after ICE review


DHS chief expects 'significant changes' after ICE review
© Getty Images

The head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says he expects "significant changes" to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after a Biden administration review of the agency is completed in the months ahead.

Speaking with The Washington PostAlejandro Mayorkas said that he planned to reorganize the priorities of the agency, which saw vociferous opposition from Democrats during its Trump-era immigration crackdowns, without shrinking its overall size or scope.

“What those changes will be, I am wrestling with right now, quite frankly,” Mayorkas told the Post.

“I really am focused on it becoming a premier national security and law enforcement agency,” he continued. “I really want to elevate all of the other work [ICE] does and also ensure that its civil immigration work is well-focused in the service of the national security and public safety mission.”

The Post reports that amid the review ordered by President Biden, a cloud of uncertainty has descended upon the agency, which some liberals seek to abolish entirely.

ICE agents now reportedly carry out an average of one arrest every two months, and the agency as a whole deported fewer than 3,000 migrants last month, less than any other time in its recorded history.

ICE officers who spoke to the Post described many employees exercising, doing busywork or simply wasting time as they have fewer enforcement operations to carry out.

Mayorkas's comments come as President Biden is under fire from both Democrats and Republicans on the issue of immigration reform, with Republicans hammering the White House over a surge of migrants and unaccompanied minors in particular at the U.S.-Mexico border, while progressives in the president's own party have demanded a halt to deportations and an end to the detention of minors.

A group of Democrats wrote to Mayorkas last month and urged him to implement reforms to DHS detention policies while the Congress debates broader changes to the immigration system.

Republicans, meanwhile, see Biden's handling of the issue as a wedge that could result in the GOP retaking one or both chambers of Congress in next year's midterms.

For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

The Memo: Biden feels the heat from all sides on immigration


President Biden is under mounting pressure from both the left and right on immigration, the issue on which his polling numbers are worse than any other.

Progressives and human rights groups want to see Biden move faster to dismantle the last vestiges of former President Trump's approach - particularly in relation to a controversial measure that allows U.S. authorities to turn back would-be refugees on public health grounds. 

But Republican politicians and conservative media are branding a sharp increase in attempted crossings of the southwestern border as "Biden's border crisis." They say that the president's approach is encouraging illegal migration attempts and thus ceding control of the nation's frontiers.

When Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testified before the House Appropriations Committee Wednesday, he came under a hail of critical questioning from GOP lawmakers.

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.) asked Mayorkas whether the Biden administration was sending the "message to one and all ... that this country will not enforce its immigration laws?" 

Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) claimed that the White House had "rolled out a big welcome mat" for anyone who wanted to cross the border.

Mayorkas disputed both those claims. But there is little doubt that immigration has become a serious vulnerability for the administration.

A new Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found that just 35 percent of adults approve of how Biden is handling immigration issues. Fifty-two percent disapprove. 

Those figures pose a startling contrast to Biden's marks for handling the COVID-19 pandemic. On that topic, 65 percent approve and 30 percent disapprove. 

The immigration ratings are also way below his overall job approval score - 48 percent approve and 40 percent disapprove of his performance so far. 

The poll's more granular findings show more red warning lights for Biden. Independent voters break decisively against him on immigration, with 52 percent disapproving of how he is handling the issue and just 29 percent approving. His disapproval from Republicans on the topic is sky-high at 91 percent. And more than 1 in 5 Democrats, 22 percent, also disapprove.

It seems likely that Republicans and independents believe Biden is taking too lenient an approach, but some Democrats might well hold the opposite objection.

One key point of contention for liberals is called Title 42. 

Title 42, which dates back to a 1944 law, allows authorities to deny refuge to asylum-seekers, or migrants, on public health grounds. It was invoked by Trump during the early days of the pandemic, purportedly to slow the spread of COVID-19. Its deployment is closely identified with Trump adviser Stephen Miller, known for his ultra-hawkish attitude on immigration.

The Biden administration has not yet ceased to use Title 42 in the same way - to the growing exasperation of liberals.

"It was a concocted policy by Stephen Miller to close the border using the pandemic as cover," complained Frank Sharry, the executive director of America's Voice, an organization that advocates for liberal immigration reform.

Sharry added: "Whatever justification the White House feels for keeping Title 42 in place, given the political pressures they have come under, is behind us. More than 50 percent of the country is vaccinated, the level of infection is way down. The idea that this is a public health imperative is at this point losing its credibility."

Sharry insisted the administration ought to "move with alacrity" to discontinue the use of Title 42.

It is not the first time Biden has irked progressives. Just a few weeks ago, a decision to maintain a Trump-era cap on the number of refugees the nation would admit sparked furious backlash. The White House made a swift U-turn on that question.

The administration's jumpiness on the topic is one sign that it is feeling serious political pressure.

The latest figures from U.S. Customs and Border Protection show a huge spike in attempted crossings in the southwest. 

The agency noted that encounters on the border numbered more than 170,000 in both March and April. Those numbers represent an increase of about 70 percent from 2019. (The numbers from 2020 were smaller still, though that is generally attributed to the effects of the pandemic.)

Conservatives complain that the shift in rhetoric from Trump to Biden has emboldened would-be migrants. Their ire is stoked further by reports like one which appeared in The Washington Post on Wednesday regarding ICE, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

The Post noted that ICE had 6,000 officers but that they "currently average one arrest every two months." The story also stated that there were fewer than 3,000 deportations carried out by ICE last month, which it termed "the lowest level on record."

Mayorkas, at his Wednesday appearance on Capitol Hill, said he did not believe the average arrest statistic was correct. 

Still, conservatives believe Biden is in practical terms acceding to the left's desire to abolish ICE without explicitly admitting he is doing so. The Republican National Committee sent reporters an email on Wednesday asserting, "Joe Biden is functionally abolishing ICE."

"I don't know what else he can do to handcuff and shackle" immigration enforcement, said Ira Mehlman, the media director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which supports stricter immigration laws and enforcement.

"Mayorkas has basically said he doesn't want them to do very much," Mehlman added. "If you have 6,000 officers averaging one arrest every two months, they become the equivalent of the Maytag repairman."

The politics of the immigration issue are fiercely complicated. 

Polls show a clear majority of Americans favor legalizing the status of people brought to the United States as children without authorization - the so-called Dreamers. 

An ascendant left in the Democratic Party has pushed for greater liberalization generally, including decriminalizing unauthorized border crossings and providing government-run health insurance to people in the country illegally.

But those positions are far less popular than support for the Dreamers. 

Meanwhile, immigration is a subject that garners enormous coverage from conservative media outlets and is at least perceived to help motivate GOP voters to turn up at the polls.

Brendan Steinhauser, a GOP strategist in Texas, said that for conservative voters in particular, "without a doubt, border security is right up there [in importance] nationally, right behind jobs and the economy."

Politically, he added, "I think it just does motivate the border security, 'enforce the law' side more. It is more of a top issue and it moves them. On the progressive side of the Democratic Party, they worry about the humanitarian side in particular but they have other issues that are a little bit more important to them."

Leftists, for their part, lament that Democratic moderates are too resistant to trying to recast the underlying terms of the debate.

"The duty of progressives is not simply to push for change on the details of the policy. It is to really articulate a different message and different vision of who immigrants are," said progressive strategist Jonathan Tasini. "Progressives should believe in open borders. Immigrants have never been the threat that politicians want to portray them as. They have been used as a cover for bad economic policies that have nothing to do with immigration."

The White House is far away from even grappling with those questions. 

For now, Biden would surely be content to thread the needle between the competing political pressures he faces.

So far, it's proving extremely hard for him to do so.

The Memo is a reported column by Niall Stanage.

For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

USCIS Eases Visitor Restrictions for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

 Due to updated guidance from the CDC, USCIS has updated its visitor policy. Fully vaccinated individuals no longer have to wear a face covering. Individuals two years old and older who are not fully vaccinated must still wear a face covering.

To be considered fully vaccinated, it must be at least two weeks after receiving a second dose in a two-dose series or at least two weeks after receiving a dose of a single-dose vaccine.

USCIS has eased other requirements for fully vaccinated individuals who do not have COVID-19 symptoms. Those who have returned from domestic air, international air or cruise ship travel in the past 10 days may enter USCIS facilities if they are fully vaccinated. Individuals who have been in close contact (within six feet for a total of 15 minutes or more) with anyone known to have COVID-19 in the previous 14 days may also enter USCIS facilities if they are fully vaccinated. Healthcare workers who consistently wear an N95 respirator and proper personal protective equipment or equivalent when in contact with COVID-19 positive individuals continue to be exempt from reporting close contact.

In DHS-controlled spaces, this guidance supersedes state, local, tribal, or territorial rules and regulations regarding face coverings.

For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Advocates fear DOJ contract would limit legal assistance to immigrants


Advocates fear DOJ contract would limit legal assistance to immigrants
© iStock

Immigration advocates say they’re troubled by the slow pace the Justice Department has taken in renewing a program targeted under the Trump administration that helps detainees and others in immigration court.

The concern comes as a May 31 deadline looms for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to renew a contract with nonprofits that help guide immigrants through the immigration court system, including connecting them with pro bono representation.

The Legal Orientation Program was nearly eliminated by the Trump administration, but Congress intervened to maintain its funding.

But now, the nonprofits that work daily with detainees and other migrants say the Biden administration is looking to impose stipulations that advocates fear will continue to hinder the program.

“During the Trump administration, legal access programs in the immigration courts were consistently under attack,” said 21 legal advocacy groups in an open letter first shared with The Hill on Tuesday.

“Four months into the Biden administration, our organizations are concerned that this generally antagonistic approach toward legal access programming and access to legal representation in the immigration courts persists,” they continued.

The letter comes a week after President Biden signed an executive order seeking to expand access to legal representation in the courts, including in the immigration court system, where migrants have no right to access counsel.

In a memo shortly after Biden's order, Attorney General Merrick Garland wrote: “We will explore, among other things, how the Justice Department and partners across federal, state, territorial, and tribal governments can alleviate entrenched disparities in our criminal justice system, address barriers to access in our immigration and civil legal systems, and advance health, economic, and environmental justice efforts."

But the 21 nonprofits, which each receive a subcontract to run the Legal Orientation Program under DOJ’s main agreement with the Vera Institute of Justice, say some of the provisions the Biden administration is seeking could limit assistance for those they say face life-altering consequences in court.

The program, which offers an overview of the legal process to detainees and guardians of unaccompanied minors, has served as an entry point to connections to free legal representation. The groups worry that contract clauses focusing on efficiency and limiting referrals could limit the benefits of the program to migrants.

The current contract would limit attorneys from referring someone for free legal representation within the same organization, creating challenges in rural areas that may only be served by one nonprofit.

More than half of migrants do not have representation in immigration courts.

“The independent provision of legal information by qualified legal services experts is a necessity in order for legal access to be meaningful. People facing deportation proceedings and particularly those in detention have little chance of understanding their options without access to legal information. We are hopeful to reach a resolution to ensure continuity of these vital services,” Vera Institute of Justice said in a statement.

The contract forwarded by DOJ would also keep the same billing structure negotiated under the Trump administration, which moved from a flat fee to requiring organizations to keep track of billable hours. The organizations argue the payment structure leads to inconsistent funding, making it difficult to keep enough staff on hand for the workload.

“It creates a massive administrative burden on our staff where every single attorney and legal assistant is spending hours every week entering data instead of providing direct services and that's all time and money that could be going to helping people and making the program more effective rather than entering this level of detailed data,” said Laura St. John, legal director of the Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project in Arizona.

A DOJ spokesperson declined to comment, citing the ongoing contract negotiations.

Advocates say that until recently, DOJ was also seeking to make lawyers stick to a script when conducting intake questioning with migrants — something they fear will leave lawyers unable to get key information ahead of someone's case or fail to identify forms of relief to which a detainee might be entitled.

“The legal orientation program was never supposed to be an automaton attorney reading a know your rights script. It’s supposed to be a very sort of interactive, flexible program that allows experienced attorney to actually help individuals understand the system they’re navigating and what they actually need to do to defend themselves against deportation and, when possible, have them access full legal representation,” said Heidi Altman, director of policy for the National Immigrant Justice Center, one of the signatories of the letter.

St. John said it was disappointing that the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), part of the Justice Department, had pushed to include a provision crafted under the Trump administration.

“While it seems that universal intake form is off the table, the fact that the government fought so hard to block providers from asking detailed and nuanced questions to make meaningful and tailored information available is really indicative of what EOIR is trying to do to this program which is cutting at the heart of this program and our ability to help the people that we serve,” she said.

The negotiations come amid broader frustrations by what some advocates see as a slow pace in reforming the aspects of the immigration system under DOJ's control. 

Earlier this month, the DOJ hired 17 new immigration court judges who were initially selected under the Trump administration, almost none of whom have made their career representing migrants in court.

For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

Democrats start putting GOP on notice as patience runs thin


Democrats are warning Republicans that they won’t keep waiting around for potential bipartisan deals, as congressional leaders face growing pressure to go-it-alone on their agenda.

More than four months since President Biden took office, most of the party’s biggest priorities have been stuck in limbo in the Senate, forcing Democrats to focus instead on nominations and smaller bills that can garner enough support from both sides of the aisle.

But Democrats, assessing their strategy as they head toward Memorial Day and the summer, are vowing to move forward after weeks of behind-the-scenes talks aimed at trying to find common ground with Republicans have led to mixed results.

“We always hope that our Republican friends will work with us on things. ... We hope to move forward with Republicans, but we’re not going to let them saying ‘no’ stand in our way,” Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters Tuesday.

Schumer’s comments come as Democrats continue to hold talks on various topics with the GOP, partly to find areas of bipartisan agreement but also to show key moderates in their own caucus that they’re trying to work with Republicans.

Schumer, on Tuesday, put a firm deadline on when Democrats will move forward with Biden’s sweeping infrastructure plan — with or without Republicans.

“That’s our plan, to move forward in July,” Schumer said.

The White House and Republicans still appear far apart on a scaled-down infrastructure deal amid steep differences over the scope of a bill, the price tag and how to pay for it.

Senate Republicans are slated to send a new counteroffer to Biden on Thursday that is expected to be around $1 trillion, largely financed by using unspent coronavirus funds. But Democrats are signaling they are rapidly approaching the point where they feel they should pull the plug.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said it was “close” to the time that Democrats should walk away, or negotiators “have to make some progress really soon.”

And it’s not just infrastructure.

Though negotiations on police reform appear to be making progress, other efforts to lock down long-sought agreements appear to be slow going.

Murphy has been leading discussions with Republicans to try to find a deal on gun reforms after the House passed a bill to expand background checks. But he said the talks were nearing an “expiration date” if lawmakers return from the one-week Memorial Day recess without a breakthrough.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the majority whip and Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, added that his bipartisan talks on immigration were running up against familiar points of disagreement, threatening the ability of the Senate to match protections passed by the House earlier this year dealing with agricultural workers and so-called Dreamers, immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children.

“I’m not happy with the progress that we’ve made. I think we need to do better,” he said, adding that the southern border was the biggest sticking point.

The slow movement on some of the talks come as Democrats are about to hit the first GOP filibuster of their months-long majority, reviving a dormant fight over the procedural hurdle, which requires most legislation to get 60 votes to pass the Senate. 

Republicans are expected to block a bill that would establish a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, putting new pressure on Democrats to get rid of the legislative filibuster.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) predicted that Democrats wouldn’t nix the filibuster just because Republicans block the commission, but that it would influence a larger fight looming over voting rights.

“I think if the Republicans filibuster Jan. 6, I don’t know that we’ll change any Senate rule … but it will then become very key to the voting rights discussion,” Kaine said.

Democrats believe the next phase of the filibuster fight will arise when they start bringing bills to the floor and forcing Republicans to block them, underscoring what top priorities can’t pass without a rules change. 

Murphy said that there were “more conversations” happening among Democrats about the filibuster.

“We’ll bring a bunch of bills to the floor that we think should have bipartisan support to try to work out that bipartisan deal. But if we can’t, it may ultimately be proof that the filibuster is not bringing Republicans to the table,” Murphy said.

Durbin said Democrats were moving closer to that phase of the fight. He added that the behind-the-scenes talks have garnered mixed results.

“Some are in a very delicate position where they can go either way. ... We have to measure each one of them differently,” Durbin said.

But he declined to put a hard point on how long the talks should go on, adding that “the longer we wait, the more anxious we become.”

“We have a lot to do, and a limited amount of time,” Durbin said.

But, even as Democrats start to put Republicans on notice, they also still need to shore up support from their own members. To pass Biden’s infrastructure plan through the budget reconciliation process or eliminating the filibuster, they will need all 50 of their members to agree — and they aren’t there yet.

“We still have to sort of make the case to some of our members that the filibuster is an obstacle to bipartisan compromise and I don’t think that’s happened yet,” Murphy said. 

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) raised eyebrows Tuesday when they released a joint statement urging Republicans to work with them on the Jan. 6 commission. But Manchin told reporters that he wasn’t willing to blow up the filibuster if GOP senators block the bill.

He’s also not sold on reconciliation, saying he still wants to break up Biden’s infrastructure package.

“We don’t have to” use reconciliation, he said. “If the place works, let it work.”

Democrats will hold a meeting Wednesday on the For the People Act, a broad measure that would overhaul federal elections, viewed as a top priority for the party. The caucus met earlier this month to start discussions but reached no definite decisions. Manchin, the biggest hold out, wasn’t able to attend as he was traveling with first lady Jill Biden.

Kaine said the goal of the meeting is to figure out exactly where every member of the caucus is on the bill and what changes might need to be made to lock down 50 Democratic votes. 

“The real key is making every Democrat declare where they are,” Kaine said. “And if they don’t like it, well what don’t you like about it? Can we change this or that?”

For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

DHS whistleblowers blame Trump border policy for increased child detention


DHS whistleblowers blame Trump border policy for increased child detention
© Courtesy photo

Two government whistleblowers are urging the Biden administration to end its use of a Trump-era policy that allows for swift expulsion of adults at the border due to the coronavirus. 

The two physicians who are experts in detention health for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) argue that Title 42 is responsible for the surge of minors in government custody, as border agents immediately turn away would-be adult migrants and asylum-seekers.

“The implementation of Title 42 ... is having the perhaps unintended, but wholly predictable, consequence of creating a churn of children who will be foreseeably held in detention. Since unaccompanied minors are exempted from Title 42, families with children are either remaining in unsafe conditions on the Mexican side of the border, or increasingly, are sending minor children on ahead to cross the border alone,” Scott Allen and Pamela McPherson wrote in a letter to several congressional committees.

Theirs is the latest call for the Biden administration to scrap Title 42. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi issued a plea last week urging the U.S. to end the policy. 

As of Sunday, the government had nearly 19,000 children in its custody, though 18,000 are in the care of the Department of Health and Human Services while the government seeks to place them with relatives or sponsors.

Allen and McPherson have warned prior administrations of the risks of long-term detention on children.

Title 42 is one of the few immigration policies the Biden administration has retained from the Trump era. In April, the Biden administration used Title 42 to remove more than 110,000 people — more than 62 percent of all people apprehended at the southern border.

“ICE is concerned that the loss of Title 42 could create additional pressure on our immigration system,” acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Tae Johnson said at a recent hearing, nodding to litigation from the American Civil Liberties Association. He called the rule “critical” to maintaining social distance in border facilities.

“I don’t think it’s a situation where it’s going to just be lifted electively. We would be mandated by some sort of court order to lift it,” he said.

DHS did not respond to request for comment on the letter.

But critics argue the U.S. could be taking other measures to screen for the coronavirus rather than blanket deportations.

"There is even less of a public health justification now, when, more than a year later, arriving asylum seekers could be easily screened and tested, and currently those over 16 vaccinated, in a way that protects the public health," the whistleblowers wrote in their letter.

"The COVID-19 pandemic no longer requires the blunt instrument of Title 42, especially while that policy has the consequence of forcing asylum seeking families to choose the ‘lesser’ risk of sending their unaccompanied minor children into the U.S. detention system over the risks of violence in their own countries and the Mexico border that have driven them to seek asylum in the first place," they continued.

"Title 42 forces this choice among asylum seeking families, and by consequence, it not only creates a flow of children into U.S. detention, but also results in de facto separation of children from their families, just on the Mexican side of the border," they added. 

For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/