Immigration protesters hold up giant foil blanket at DHS secretary’s home accusing Biden of upholding Trump policies

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·3-min read
Immigration protesters hold up giant foil blanket at DHS secretary’s home accusing Biden of upholding Trump policies
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Activists unfurled a gigantic foil blanket outside the home of the US homeland security secretary as part of a protest against Joe Biden’s immigration policies.

Demonstrators from Never Again Action, a Jewish-led migrant rights campaign, accused Mr Biden and secretary Alejandro Mayorkas of continuing Donald Trump’s “racist” deportation of migrants.

The blanket, 30 feet wide and emblazoned with the words “BIDEN PRESIDENCY, TRUMP POLICY” and the hashtag “#KeepYourPromises”, was designed to resemble the heat-reflecting emergency blankets given to migrant children detained by border police.

The Biden administration has continued to enforce Mr Trump’s interpretation of a 1944 public health law called Title 42, which allows the US government to block migrants from crossing the border during public health emergencies.

Both Mr Trump and Mr Biden have used Title 42 to expel migrants en masse without giving them any chance to claim asylum or take a Covid test, which migrant advocates argue is illegal under US asylum laws.

It comes after Mr Mayorkas’ department forcibly cleared out a huge encampment of mostly Haitian migrants on the border of Texas and Mexico, deporting about 2,000 and detaining 17,000 to process their applications to stay.

Alyssa Rubin, campaigns director for Never Again Action, said: “The Biden administration promised to end Trump’s cruel immigration policies, and replace them with a ‘fair and humane’ immigration system. Instead they’ve doubled down on the worst of Trump’s racist policies.”

The group also took aim at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s contracts with law enforcement agencies requiring them to enforce some immigration laws, which Mr Biden promised to “aggressively” curtail.

“Imagine if a single traffic stop could lead to being ripped away from your family, thrown in a cell, and then deported to a country that isn’t your home,” said the group on Twitter.

“For millions of immigrants, this isn’t something to imagine; it’s everyday life...

“For the last 250 days, the Biden administration has woken up every morning and decided not to keep their promise to cancel Trump’s ICE contracts. Every day, that inaction continues to tear families apart.”

While the Biden administration has ended Mr Trump’s Muslim travel ban and some other policies, it has continued to use Title 42 and recently attempted to resume expedited deportations of migrant families.

A federal judge blocked the policy after legal action by the American Civil Liberties Union and a coalition of civil rights groups, saying the use of Title 42 to expel families was “likely unlawful”.

Mr Mayorkas defended Title 42 at a news conference on Friday, saying: “[It] is applicable and has been applicable to all irregular migration during this pandemic. It is not specific to Haitian nationals or the current situation.”

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