🗽BIDEN ADMINISTRATION GRANTS TPS TO CAMEROONIANS — A Modest Step Forward! — It Also Illustrates The Horrible Illegality & Immorality Of The Biden Administration’s Continuing Use Of “Title 42” Against Non-White Refugees At Our Border!🏴‍☠️☠️🤮👎🏽

 

https://www.dhs.gov/news/2022/04/15/secretary-mayorkas-designates-cameroon-temporary-protected-status-18-months

Secretary Mayorkas Designates Cameroon for Temporary Protected Status for 18 Months

Release Date: April 15, 2022

WASHINGTON— Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the designation of Cameroon for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months. Only individuals who are already residing in the United States as of April 14, 2022, will be eligible for TPS.

“The United States recognizes the ongoing armed conflict in Cameroon, and we will provide temporary protection to those in need,” said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “Cameroonian nationals currently residing in the U.S. who cannot safely return due to the extreme violence perpetrated by government forces and armed separatists, and a rise in attacks led by Boko Haram, will be able to remain and work in the United States until conditions in their home country improve.”

A country may be designated for TPS when conditions in the country fall into one or more of the three statutory bases for designation: ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or extraordinary and temporary conditions. This designation is based on both ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Cameroon that prevent Cameroonian nationals, and those of no nationality who last habitually resided in Cameroon, from returning to Cameroon safely. The conditions result from the extreme violence between government forces and armed separatists and a significant rise in attacks from Boko Haram, the combination of which has triggered a humanitarian crisis. Extreme violence and the widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure have led to economic instability, food insecurity, and several hundred thousand displaced Cameroonians without access to schools, hospitals, and other critical services.

This marks the first time the Secretary of DHS will permit qualifying nationals of Cameroon to remain temporarily in the United States pursuant to a TPS designation of that country. Individuals eligible for TPS under this designation must have continuously resided in the United States since April 14, 2022. Individuals who attempt to travel to the United States after April 14, 2022 will not be eligible for TPS. Cameroon’s 18-month designation will go into effect on the publication date of the forthcoming Federal Register notice. The Federal Register notice will provide instructions for applying for TPS and an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). TPS applicants must meet all eligibility requirements and undergo security and background checks.

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According to TRAC, there were 3,191 pending Cameroonian cases in Immigration Court as of March 22, 2022. https://trac.syr.edu/phptools/immigration/court_backlog/. On the basis of my experience, I would guess that most of these are in the mid-Atlantic region. 

Cameroonian asylum cases were a “staple” in Arlington over my 13 years on the bench ending on June 30, 2016. For example, in FY 2012, they were approximately 9% of my asylum docket, although that number dwindled between then and my retirement.

According to EOIR’s first quarter FY 2022 stats, the asylum grant rate for Cameroon is about 60%, and the denial rate is only 6%. https://www.justice.gov/eoir/page/file/1107366/download

The other 1/3 of cases are disposed of in “other” ways. This indicates that with TPS as a tool, almost all of the pending Cameroonian cases at EOIR could be resolved in short order without diminishing anyone’s rights.

That’s a “drop in the bucket” on a 1.8 million case backlog. But, it does suggest that better docket management tools, ones that comply with due process, are available to Immigration Judges and could be built upon for the future with more visionary and due-process-focused leadership at EOIR and DOJ.

Sadly, this profile also confirms that the Biden Administration’s illegal use of Title 42 to return Cameroonians to harm’s way without an opportunity to apply for asylum has been exactly the race-based, grotesque violation of asylum laws, human rights, and human dignity that critics have asserted.

It also graphically demonstrates why real Democrats, core progressive supporters who put Biden and company in office, must aggressively stand up against the disgraceful agitation by a minority of Dem legislators and uninformed, amoral politicos within the Administration to retain the already totally unjustifiable Title 42 blockade!

Continuing violation of domestic and international law through use of Title 42 is NOT, I repeat NOT, an option! Yes, the Administration needs to get a plan in place for an orderly restoration of asylum processing for Cameroonians, Haitians, Latin Americans, Ukrainians, Russians, Afghans, and all  other nationalities at our Southern Border. 

Fair, humane, advance processing of those seeking asylum at the border NOW is the essential key to avoiding a mess on May 23. Pumping credibility, efficiency, humanity, and proper generosity into the asylum system at the border NOW will reduce the chances of an “immediate backlog” come May 23. 

More importantly, showing that our laws can work in a fair, humane, and efficient way will encourage individuals seeking asylum to come to legal ports of entry to apply, rather than seeking more dangerous and difficult irregular entry that does not hold out the same prospects for rapidly obtaining legal status. Why wouldn’t legitimate asylum seekers present themselves at legal ports of entry if we had a fair, functioning, transparent system for processing them? 

By eliminating the need and reducing  the motivation for legal asylum seekers to attempt irregular entries to obtain refuge, the traffic between ports of entry should be reduced even though of course not eliminated. And the “expedited removal” procedures available under current law to CBP for those apprehended without credible asylum claims while attempting unauthorized entires are perfectly adequate to quickly process removals of those with no legal claim to be here!   

Assuming that all or most asylum seekers will attempt unauthorized entries between legal ports will become a dangerous “self-fulfilling prophecy.” Yet, to the extent that the Biden Administration has a plan, it appears to be driven by the misguided notion that all the “action” will be at unauthorized crossing points. See, e.g., https://immigrationimpact.com/2022/04/12/what-is-bidens-plan-to-end-title-42/ (a sad commentary on wobbly, uninformed, unprincipled, pedestrian, un-creative thinking about an important solvable problem if I’ve ever seen one). 

That’s only going to happen if the Administration continues to ignore the pressing need for immediate steps to establish the credibility of the asylum system at ports of entry. 

The Administration went to considerable trouble to establish a “new” regulatory framework for processing asylum claims at the border (which becomes effective on May 28). I was one of those who pointed out serious flaws in the new system adopted. 

One of the main defects is that for integrity, legal guidance, and effective supervision it heavily relies on Garland’s dysfunctional, hopelessly backlogged, and still anti-asylum-tilted Immigration Courts, at least where some of the common types of asylum applications at the border, like those from Northern Triangle countries, are concerned. These “courts that aren’t really courts” have shown a disturbing lack of asylum expertise and little effective commitment to a fair and practical application of asylum laws nationwide. It’s basically still a “denial factory” — just as Sessions and Barr staffed and manipulated it to be. That has spelled disaster in the past and will continue to do so in the future unless it can be “sidestepped” by granting more cases at the border without calling on these “courts.”

There’s where the “new system” has potential to work! One key advantage of the “new system” that many of us applauded is the potential for the USCIS Asylum Office expeditiously to grant many more claims at or near the border, thus entirely avoiding the broken Immigration Courts, prolonged detention, and releasing individuals to the interior without status. 

As asylees, refugees can be admitted in a legal, work-authorized status right off the bat. Not only does that eliminate the never-ending debate about appearing for later Immigration Court hearings, but it also helps the economy and resettlement by putting individuals anxious to support themselves and their families directly into the workforce at a time when we need workers in many segments of the economy! It also avoids the current wildly inconsistent, unprincipled, and often defective asylum adjudication that now plagues Garland’s Immigration Courts, particularly in border areas and detention centers.

But, success isn’t going to happen by “magical thinking,”  operating in “Stephen Miller’s world,” repeating platitudes about border crises, and reviving the past mistakes of “enforcement/deterrence only regimes.” I call BS! A “border crisis” is what happened in Poland! We’re not even remotely close to that!

It requires the Biden Administration to get the lead out, shut down the “naysayers,” work with NGOs, and get the expertise and manpower in place NOW at ports of entry and in Mexico to achieve success on May 23! But, continuing the illegal Title 42 charade/blockade is not an option that is on the table!

🇺🇸Due Process Forever!

PWS

04-16-22

🗽BIDEN ADMINISTRATION GRANTS TPS TO CAMEROONIANS — A Modest Step Forward! — It Also Illustrates The Horrible Illegality & Immorality Of The Biden Administration’s Continuing Use Of “Title 42” Against Non-White Refugees At Our Border!🏴‍☠️☠️🤮👎🏽