A federal judge said he will temporarily block the Biden administration from ending the Title 42 policy that expels migrants from U.S. borders in order to avoid the spread of COVID-19. The Biden administration is eager to lift the Trump-era policy while simultaneously considering a challenge to a recent ruling that barred transportation mask mandates. In effect, the administration is lobbying for tougher COVID policy for American citizens while lessening restrictions for illegal immigrants.
The CDC had announced its intention to lift Title 42 on May 23. Lifting the policy is expected to lead to an unprecedented migrant surge while border officials are already recording record numbers of encounters, prompting 21 Republican-led states to file a lawsuit.
In a ruling on the lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Robert Summerhays of Louisiana said in a notice on Monday that he will grant a temporary restraining order blocking the end of Title 42. Summerhays was appointed by former President Trump.
“For the reasons stated on the record, the Court announced its intent to grant the motion,” the notice said. “The parties will confer regarding the specific terms to be contained in the Temporary Restraining Order and attempt to reach agreement.”
The CDC has argued that Title 42 is “no longer necessary” after “considering current public health conditions and an increased availability of tools to fight COVID-19.”
Republicans, as well as a handful of moderate Democrats, praised the ruling in hopes it will ward off a catastrophic migrant surge. In a lawsuit originally filed by Missouri, Louisiana, and Arizona, our Office just obtained a temporary restraining order to keep Title 42 in place. This is a huge victory for border security, but the fight continues on,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt wrote in a tweet.
BREAKING NEWS: Missouri and other states just obtained a Temporary Restraining Order preventing the Biden Administration from terminating Title 42.
— Eric Schmitt (@Eric_Schmitt) April 25, 2022
The Biden Administration has yet to comment on the ruling.