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Court Halts Use Of Health Order To Expel Migrant Families

 September 17, 2021 at 12:27 PM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:01 The public health order that virtually shut down asylum is halted by a federal Speaker 2: 00:06 Cartels are literally waiting on the other side of the bridge to pick off these families. Then the Biden administration sends them back across the bridge. Speaker 1: 00:13 I'm Maureen Kavanaugh. This is KPBS mid-day edition. We'll examine why critical race theory is controversial and widely misunderstood. Speaker 3: 00:29 No kindergartner that I know is it's familiar with the constitution. In fact, no 12th grader that I know, um, has a baseline level of knowledge in order to engage with critical race theory. So critical race theory is not being taught in K through 12 schools. Speaker 1: 00:46 And our weekend preview features outings at the theater, the museum, and the library that's ahead on midday edition. Speaker 1: 01:01 A federal judge has ruled the government must stop using a public health order to refuse entry to immigrant families at the border title. 42 allows customs officials to ban asylum seekers from us detention facilities to stop the spread of COVID-19 critics claim. The Trump era policy virtually shut down the nation's asylum system. The injunction ruling by the judge gives the government 14 days to stop the policy. Meanwhile, an ACL OU lawsuit is still underway in an effort to find title 42 used in this way. As unlawful joining me is legal and he is deputy director of ACL use immigrants rights project and Lee welcome. Thanks for having me. Why is this Trump era policy still in effect anyway, eight months into the Biden administration? Speaker 2: 01:54 Well, that's exactly the right question. You know, we expected the Biden administration to get rid of it. It is the most extreme asylum policy enacted by the Trump administration. The byte administration came to us at the beginning and said, well, look, the system is in shambles after the Trump administration, just give us some time to get it back up and running. We said, okay, we'll put our lawsuit on hold. We gave them more than six months. They still didn't end the policy. They still didn't enact the measures that we were hoping for. And so finally, we had to go back to court and fortunately a court has now ruled that the policy is unlawful. We didn't think it was justified as a public health measure when the Trump administration didn't. And it's certainly not at this point, uh, warrant that as a public health measure, the statute doesn't give the authority to the executive branch to do this. In any event, they have plenty of steps to take to safely process families. Instead, the Biden administration is sending families back to just gruesome danger. Cartels are literally waiting the other side of the bridge to pick off these families. When the Biden administration sends them back across the bridge. Speaker 1: 03:05 Is there any evidence that title 42 has protected us citizens or even people in detention centers from spreading COVID Speaker 2: 03:13 Two points. One is we're not aware of evidence that this is protecting us citizens. The second point, which I think is critical is that families do not need to be detained. And the Biden administration is to their credit, not detaining families. So this whole notion that if the family is in a Congress detention center, then it will be a problem. They don't need to detain families. And in fact, we were getting families tested on the Mexican side. So the only families that were coming across on the, on the bridges were people who had tested positive. What's critical for people to understand is that CDC has said it's possible to safely process asylum seekers. DHS just needs to take the steps to do that. And it still hasn't done it. So really what the CDC is doing is indicting DHS. CDC is by no means saying we must send these families back to danger. There's no way to safely process. So they're saying DHS start taking the mitigation steps. We have outlined months and months ago, Speaker 1: 04:12 The Biden administration already lifted title 42 restrictions on children, traveling alone, seeking asylum. Why was that part of the policy ended? Speaker 2: 04:22 So we unfortunately think is that by an administration may be making various calculations, not based on asylum law and political calculations. They took that step in response to a lawsuit, the ACLU and our, and our, um, colleagues filed. We are grateful that they stopped applying it to children, but now they're still applying it to families with small children, sending them back to Bruce in danger. What the CDC said is you were able to safely process children. When we told you what steps to take, how come you haven't taken those steps in six months. And so from the legal standpoint, title 42, just states to be abolished with respect to children, families, and adults. And we think given the harm to families, and now given that a court is enjoined, it, we hope the Biden administration will not appeal this ruling, but we are hearing that they are likely will Speaker 1: 05:15 This week's ruling on title 42 seems like the opposite of the ruling. Last month on the so-called return to Mexico policy, that's where asylum seekers are expelled across the border to wait for their asylum claims to be heard in court. How does the title 42 injunction impact the return to Mexico policy? Speaker 2: 05:36 We'll have to wait and see how, how they to interact. I mean, at this point we don't know that and the return to Mexico policy will ever be put into effect. I think the ruling still allows the byte administration to justify ending, remain in Mexico. They still need Mexico's agreement, but you know, it's a complicated system of overlapping policies at the border. We'll have to see. But what we have always said is title 42 is a public health measure. It can be used required testing quarantine where necessary, but it can't be used as an immigration policy measure. So we need title 42 to end, and then we will fight to continue there, uh, end of remain in Mexico because that has also put as you know, tens of thousands of people in danger. So this is unfortunate that there are so many policies enacted by the Trump administration. And we are just trying to challenge one after another and have been. And I think we have a long fight ahead of us, but this was a good first step. Speaker 1: 06:35 Now the bun administration has been getting criticized by both the right and the left on how it's handling the problems in the immigration system. As you mentioned, many of those problems inherited from the last administration, how do you think the Biden administration is doing and what more needs to be done? Speaker 2: 06:53 So I think overall, the Biden ministration has enacted many good policies on immigration, but at the border and some other places they're not doing the right thing. And because they are being attacked from the left and the right, I think they ought to just do what they think is right. And what more importantly the law requires. And that means that the board are giving people asylum hearings. So on some things they've done well on other things they've not, but right now at the border, you know, it's no different than what the Trump administration was doing, which was expelling families summarily back to danger without a hearing. And that's unfortunate for the byte administration to be talking about a humane system, but then keeping title 42 in place and likely appealing this judge's ruling rather than simply accept. Speaker 1: 07:41 I've been speaking with legal land. He is deputy director of ACL use immigrants rights, project Lee as always, thank you very much. Speaker 2: 07:49 Thanks for having me. Speaker 4: 07:55 [inaudible] Speaker 1: 07:57 It's called critical race theory. Something studied in law school as an academic framework that examines the impact of systemic racism on institutions and laws. But somehow it is now front and center in the ongoing culture war over what our children are learning in K through 12 schools, KPBS is Jade. Heinemann explores what students are actually learning in school and how critical race theory is being misunderstood. Speaker 5: 08:30 Schools are back in session and tensions continue to boil over at school board meetings. When critical race theory is mentioned, we do not Speaker 1: 08:38 Want our children to be taught that America is systemically racist. Speaker 5: 08:41 The fewer is being fed by social conservatives and right leaning media who say it's replacing the traditional teaching of history and social studies in K through 12 schools, but that's not what's happening. In fact, if you're taking a class on critical race theory, you're probably in law school, Kiarra bridges is a UC Berkeley law professor and the author of a book called critical race theory. A primmer, Speaker 3: 09:05 No kindergartner that I know is it's familiar with the constitution. In fact, no 12th grader that I know, um, has a baseline level of knowledge in order to engage with critical race theory. So critical race theory is not being taught in K through 12 school. Speaker 5: 09:21 So if critical race theory, isn't being taught in K through 12 schools, what is the controversy? One was many schools incorporate a better understanding of the ongoing impacts of racism and bigotry and their curriculums. Conservative activists are responding by pushing for sweeping bands to suppress education about race and American history. Speaker 3: 09:41 We talk about race that's, uh, that is less than, um, celebratory. They started says, we try out, you know, we, we abolished slavery. Um, and then we passed the civil rights act and we try and over our, our, you know, tragic racial history, any talk that challenges that narrative that suggests that we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to racial inequality. That's critical race theory, according to these conservative activists. And that's what they're trying to keep out of. Um, K through 12 Speaker 5: 10:12 Let's look at the Ramona unified school district. The board there recently banned what they called 10 concepts about race from being taught in the classroom as reported by the San Diego union Tribune. The school board president said the goal is to make sure lessons focused on American exceptionalism. Speaker 6: 10:29 The goal of banning critical race theory or the goal of banning ethnic studies is indeed to maintain this idea of a white masculine Christian American exceptionalism. And that's precisely what is so dangerous about these bands. Speaker 5: 10:45 Sarah Clark Kaplan is a professor of ethnic studies and executive director of the anti-racist research and policy center at American university. She says Ramona unified ban and those like it across the country are actually seeking to remove ethnic studies from the classroom to maintain the myth of American exceptionalism. Speaker 6: 11:04 We can think of American exceptionalism is justifying, you know, Andrew Jackson's crusade against indigenous people as originating the trail of tears as suggesting that Africans who were kidnapped and enslaved were in fact being saved from their dark life in Africa, all of these deeply oppressive systems have their root in American exceptionalism Speaker 5: 11:26 Scholars argue that ethnic studies curriculums help correct the myth of American exceptionalism by highlighting the untold struggles and contributions of people. Who've been historically marginalized. Speaker 6: 11:38 Yes, we can diagnose a situation and we can understand that we have a role to play in it. Then we are then obligated to think about how to change the parts of it that we don't like. That's what ethnic studies does. How do you understand history, sociology, cultural production, and how do you understand how we can change? Speaker 5: 11:59 And to that point, bridges says it's time to move the conversation beyond erroneous terms and the manufactured conflict over critical race theory. Speaker 3: 12:08 Do you want our kids to learn everything about this country? Or do you want them to learn a myth about this country? I think that most sober thinkers would say let's teach them everything because that's what, that's the only weapon we have against repeating the mistakes of our past Speaker 5: 12:27 Jade. Hindman KPBS news. Speaker 1: 12:42 This is KPBS day edition. I'm Maureen Kavanaugh. If you're looking for some art culture and history this weekend, you can find plenty of options in the libraries, reopened art gallery, the signature theater, and an Oceanside museum. Joining me with all the details is KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans, and welcome Julia. Hi Maureen. Speaker 7: 13:06 Thanks for having me now, a Speaker 1: 13:07 Program at the downtown public library reflects on the experiences of Japanese Americans in world war two, but also their lives leading up to, and following it, tell us about the rebellious miss breed. Speaker 7: 13:22 Right? So first on the ground floor, the main entrance to the library, the library called on artwork, San Diego to build this reconstruction of Frank WADA's incarceration, camp barracks water was a local man who just passed away the summer who had been sent to a Japanese incarceration camp in Arizona in 1942. So right when you walk into the library, you can get a sense for this whole program, then upstairs at the gallery there, the reopening, the art gallery this weekend, which is this beautiful space on the top floor, right above the library's dome. And they're going to be holding an exhibition about the life and work of former city librarian, Clara breed. She was the subject of write to me, which was the one book, one San Diego selection for kids last year during the war. She painstakingly wrote letters to Japanese children, but she also spent her career in the library in advocacy. And they're commemorating that there's collections of photographs and archives and other relics about her work, but also the experience of Japanese Americans during that period, there'll be an opening reception at the sculpture garden on the ninth floor on Saturday afternoon. And then you can catch the exhibition during their gallery hours. Through the end of January, Speaker 1: 14:41 The free opening reception at the downtown public library will be from noon to 2:00 PM on Saturday. And the exhibition will be on view Monday through Saturday in galleries afternoon hours through January 30th, Cygnet theater has just reopened with a production of Lacasia full. Tell us about this, right? Speaker 7: 15:02 This is an eighties Broadway musical adaptation of a French play of the same name. And it was also famously adapted for the big screen in the nineties with the Robin Williams and Nathan Lane movie, the bird cage. So [inaudible] fall centers on a drag club and the gay couple who run it. And then their son who was suddenly engaged to the daughter of someone who's trying to shut the drag club down. So a lot of the plot centers on trying to pass as a somewhat typical couple in order to impress this family, the music and the dance numbers are fantastic. This is we are what we are from the original Broadway cast production Speaker 8: 16:20 [inaudible]. Speaker 7: 16:21 And this was our production that Cigna had barely just had a single preview performance of the, for the pandemic shutdown. So this is a long overdue return to the stage for them. And when Cigna was the first theater in San Diego, the summer to announce vaccination or negative test requirements for audiences, they actually had to extend the show's run because they had such a popular response to that. So if you want tickets, get them fast. Signature Speaker 1: 16:46 Theaters production of Lacasia phone has a show Saturday at 8:00 PM and Sunday at 2:00 PM. Tonight's show is sold out. The show runs through October 13th with performances Wednesday through Sundays in the visual art world. There's a chance to see not just one but three solo exhibitions by establish local artists. That's this weekend at the Oceanside museum of art. Tell us about what we can find. Speaker 7: 17:15 Yeah. On Saturday they're opening a new exhibition by Charlotte bird who makes these incredible quilted artworks one in the exhibition as a crane and another, these sculptural suspended clouds, and this exhibition it's called migrations focuses on cranes, but also the broader picture like climate change in general and habitat destruction also on view at OMA is Melissa. Walter's smallest if places which we've talked about before on this show, these are gorgeous conceptual kind of mathematical paintings inspired by DNA forensics. And that's on view through early November, but then closing on Sunday is mark Bryce's love and war, which was originally on view in Tijuana several years ago. These paintings play on American iconography and just kind of the darker side to it all. So there is just a two day overlap of the Charlotte bird and mark Bryce exhibitions. And that's this weekend only Speaker 1: 18:13 Inside museum of art is open noon to five Thursday through Saturday and noon to four on Sunday for details on these and more arts events or to sign up for Julia's a weekly arts newsletter go to I've been speaking with KPBS arts editor and producer, Julia Dixon Evans. Julia, thank you so much. Speaker 7: 18:37 Thank you, Marine. Have a good weekend.

A federal judge has ruled the government must stop using a public health order to refuse entry to immigrant families at the border. Plus, critical race theory is now front and center in the ongoing culture war over what our children are learning in K-12 schools. And, this weekend in the arts: the Broadway musical that inspired “The Birdcage,” “The Rebellious Miss Breed” reopens the downtown library’s art gallery, and three solo exhibitions are on display at the Oceanside Museum of Art.