A Louisiana-based federal judge on Friday blocked the Biden administration from lifting the Title 42 order which immigration officers have used to expel migrants at the United States-Mexico border, including asylum-seekers.
Twenty-four states successfully blocked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from repealing Title 42, for which the Biden administration had promised to remove, beginning Monday.
District Judge Robert R. Summerhays, a President Trump-era appointee in Lafayette, Louisiana, ruled the Biden administration violated administrative law back in April, when it announced its intentions to halt Title 42, a health order aimed at preventing the spread of communicable diseases in the country.
In his ruling, Judge Summerhays said the removal of Title 42 would cause “irreparable harm” because the American border states would subsequently have to spend money on health care, law enforcement, education, and other services for migrants.
“In sum, the Court finds that the Plaintiff States have established a substantial likelihood of success based on the CDC’s failure to comply with the rulemaking requirements of the [Administrative Procedure Act]. This finding is sufficient to satisfy the first requirement for injunctive relief,” Summerhays wrote in his decision.
As a counter, Department of Justice lawyers representing the administration argued that Title 42 was originally meant to be temporary, and that it merely served as an emergency health order.
In March 2020, the CDC — then under the direction of former President Donald Trump — established Title 42 during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Last month, the CDC and Biden White House announced it would stop expelling migrants under Title 42 starting May 23 and resume detaining and deporting migrants who don’t qualify to enter and remain in the United States — a longer process that allows migrants to request asylum in America.
This prompted the 24-state injunctive lawsuit, aimed at blocking the CDC’s repealing of Title 42. The states collectively argued the chaos at the U.S.-Mexico border — where roughly 7,400 migrants are crossing the southern border per day, with projections for the coming months potentially topping out at 10,000 crossings per day — still warranted Title 42 protections.
The 24 states involved in the injunction: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
A preliminary injunction is intended to preserve the status quo to “protect [the] plaintiff from irreparable injury and preserve the court’s power to render a meaningful decision after a trial on the merits.”
The CDC, DOJ, and Biden administration now have the option of appealing Judge Summerhays’ ruling to a higher court.
Earlier this month, Newsmax chronicled a CNN/SSRS poll which determined that nearly 60% of Americans do not support the Biden administration’s decision to repeal the Title 42 order, which allows migrants to be turned away at the United States-Mexico border and stopped from seeking asylum for public health reasons.
Among the 1,007 respondents, 57% don’t believe it’s the right time to lift Title 42, compared to 43% favoring an end to Title 42.