ACLU, Others Resuming Legal Battle to Get Biden Admin to End Title 42 Ban on Asylum Seekers

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), along with other advocacy organizations, is resuming its legal battle to get President Joe Biden to end a Title 42 ban on asylum-seeking families, the Associated Press reported.

The emergency powers, invoked to stop the spread of the coronavirus, have been used by the Biden administration to ban most asylum seekers, including many families and nearly all single adults, with unaccompanied children excepted. Title 42 authority is named for a 1944 public health law.

Now that the ACLU and the other groups have ended settlement talks with the administration, the litigation will be heard by U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington.

"We are deeply disappointed that the Biden administration has abandoned its promise of fair and humane treatment for families seeking safety, leaving us no choice but to resume litigation," said Neela Chakravartula, the managing attorney for the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies.

An ACLU attorney, Lee Gelernt, said, "Seven months of waiting for the Biden administration to end Title 42 is more than enough."

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

President Joe Biden
The ACLU and other advocacy groups are ending settlement talks with the Biden administration over their demand to lift a pandemic-related ban on families seeking asylum in the United States. Above, President Joe Biden heads toward Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on July 30. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Since late March, the ACLU has been working with advocates across the border to submit names of particularly vulnerable migrants stuck in Mexico to U.S. authorities, allowing them in the U.S. to seek asylum. Gelernt said the exemptions will continue another week.

The Homeland Security and Justice departments did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The breakdown reflects growing tensions between immigrant advocates and the administration over use of Title 42 authority and the government's decision last week to resume fast-track deportation flights for families to Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

Last week, the International Rescue Committee said they were ending efforts to help the administration exempt asylum-seekers from the pandemic-related ban. The groups had been working on a parallel track with the ACLU to identify particularly vulnerable migrants stuck in Mexico.

Migrant Families Pass Through Border Wall
Two migrant families from Brazil pass through a gap in the border wall to reach the United States after crossing from Mexico to Yuma, Arizona, on June 10. Eugene Garcia/AP Photo