15 States Go to Court to Maintain Title 42 Border Expulsions
At a moment of tension over immigration policies, there are also growing calls for more protections for the rights of workers and communities at the U.S.-Mexico border.
A group of civil rights and immigrant rights advocates from Arizona, Texas and other states are filing cases in U.S. District Court in San Diego demanding that border agents show proper justification for the thousands of times that they have expelled undocumented people from the country.
The group, called the Texas Coalition on Human Rights at the U.S.-Mexico Border, said the people they represent are being taken away from their jobs, families and friends. They said they fear for their lives, adding that “the government has already decided on the deportees.”
“The government has already decided on the deportees,” said Jose P. Garcia-Bautista, an attorney at the group. “We are hoping that people will realize how extreme this is. They are threatening people’s lives … and there are children in those homes.”
Garcia-Bautista said that in the past, his clients were afraid to show their identification because the agents would make them sit down in detention. “Now they are using the law to take away people’s rights,” he said. “It’s outrageous.”
The attorneys are asking a federal judge to issue a temporary restraining order against what they call “deplorable” treatment at the border. They say they want justice and to show the Trump administration that people are being punished for no reason other than a “lack of enforcement.”
“In the past, we would go to court, and we would win,” Garcia-Bautista said. “We had a legal system that believed we were just doing our jobs in enforcing the law and protecting the American people.”
The new federal complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in San Diego on Jan. 8.
The lawsuit was originally brought before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. That court dismissed one