EL CAJON, Calif. – The Catholic Legal Immigration Network has taken a dim view of the Biden Administration’s decision to leave in place a public health rule that has allowed it to turn away hundreds of thousands of migrants.

It was thought the Administration was planning to do away with Title 42 later this summer. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that allowing non-citizens to come over the border from either Mexico or Canada “creates a serious danger” of further spread of the coronavirus.

Luis Guerra, strategic capacity officer with the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, or CLINIC, responded:

Luis Guerra

“The Biden administration, like Democratic and Republican administrations before it, views Black and Brown people seeking protection at our borders as an ‘enforcement problem’ instead of human beings who deserve to live and be safe. The extension of Title 42 is not about COVID, it’s about political cowardice.”

Guerra said the United States has the resources to take in more asylum seekers.

“You don’t tell people to ‘stay home’ when the house is on fire; you send in the rescue squad,” Guerra said. “The United States is strong enough, rich enough, and smart enough to offer a safe, orderly, and dignified process for welcoming individuals seeking protection.”

Guerra added: “It is possible to create a solution that centers public health without trampling on the right to seek asylum. But we have to be honest and bold, and reject the politicization of human life. That requires the Biden administration to stand up to those who refuse to recognize migrants’ humanity and chart a new course.” 

Prior to working at CLINIC, Guerra was involved in developing the legal capacity of farm worker-serving organizations. He was the acting executive director at Causa Oregon, a statewide immigrant rights organization where he developed Causa’s first legal services program. 

Most recently, Guerra was director of operations at the United Farm Workers Foundation as it grew into one of the largest and most successful legal services immigration programs in the country.

Guerra is a fully accredited representative. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Willamette University, having double majored in international relations and Spanish with a minor in Latin American studies. 

Editor’s Note: Here is the original news clip about the Biden Administration’s decision to keep going with Title 42:

Biden Administration to Keep Using Public Health Rule to Turn Away Migrants

NEW YORK TIMES: With the number of migrants crossing the southern border surging and the pandemic proving to be far from over, the Biden administration has decided to leave in place for now the public health rule that has allowed it to turn away hundreds of thousands of migrants, officials said.

The decision, confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday, amounted to a shift by the administration, which had been working on plans to begin lifting the rule this summer, more than a year after it was imposed by the Trump administration. The C.D.C. said allowing noncitizens to come over the border from either Mexico or Canada “creates a serious danger” of further spread of the coronavirus.

President Biden has come under intense pressure for months from some Democrats and supporters of more liberal immigration policies to lift the rule, which critics say has been employed less to protect public health than as a politically defensible way to limit immigration. 

The recent spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant has bolstered the argument that the public health rule, known as Title 42, remains necessary to contain the coronavirus. And the virus’s quickening spread comes as border officials are so overwhelmed with the persistent pace of illegal migration that they say that allowing more migrants into the country by lifting the rule poses the threat of a humanitarian crisis.

Editor’s Note: Click here to read the full story by reporters Eileen Sullivan and Zolan Kanno-Youngs in The New York Times.

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  1. Ms Reyes, thank you very much for this article. After the anti-immigrant nonsense recently spewed by Senator Graham, Representative Cuellar and Judge Cortez, I am very happy to see a more intellectually honest and accurate account of our immigration situation in the Rio Grande Guardian.