Public Health Expulsions Assailed

Press Releases

September 18, 2020

IRLI defends law allowing administration’s protective measures

WASHINGTON—Yesterday, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the DC federal district court defending the Trump administration’s prerogative to send illegal border-crossers who pose a public health risk during the pandemic back over the border immediately. An alien purporting to represent a class of all similarly-situated aliens has challenged the practice as contrary to procedures mandated in immigration law.

The plaintiff claims that the immigration provisions in question, since they were passed after the public health statute allowing for the expulsion of aliens posing a public health risk, take precedence over that statute. In its brief, however, IRLI shows that repeals by implication are disfavored by the Supreme Court, that the later-enacted law did not repeal the earlier one, and that the two can work together to allow public health expulsions in the kind of special circumstances that now exist.

“The idea that during a pandemic, when Americans’ freedoms are being restricted on all sides, we must operate the immigration system on a business-as-usual footing is more than ironic,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “The public health laws squarely allow the administration to take these steps to protect the public during this emergency, and precedent is clear that these laws are not overridden by the more general immigration provisions that normally govern. We hope the court sees through and rejects this attempt to create special protections not for Americans, but for illegal aliens.”

The case is P.J.E.S. v. Wolf, No. 1:20-cv-02245 (D.D.C.).

For additional information, contact: Brian Lonergan • 202-232-5590 • [email protected]

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