A federal judge in Louisiana says he intends to block the Biden administration’s plans for rescinding Title 42, siding with GOP-led states that had asked for the courts to force the White House to temporarily retain the pandemic-era border policy.
The decision from Judge Robert Summerhays, an appointee of former President Trump, will prevent the Biden administration from carrying out its plans to end Title 42 on May 23 and once again allow migrants to seek asylum.
The order, though temporary, is a victory in a suit initially filed by Louisiana, Missouri and Arizona that now includes some 20 GOP-led states.
It’s not yet clear what the terms of the order will be, as a summary of the hearing — which was not open to the public — said “the parties will confer regarding the specific terms to be contained in the Temporary Restraining Order and attempt to reach agreement.”
Started by the Trump administration at the beginning of the pandemic, Title 42 has been used more than 1.5 million times by the Biden administration to rapidly expel migrants without letting them seek asylum.
It’s something many Democrats have said is a violation of U.S. law.
“The Trump-initiated Title 42 was part of his anti-immigrant hate and fear agenda that used the pandemic as an excuse to deny asylum seekers their legal rights to due process. It must end now,” Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said after the group’s meeting at the White House.
The states made the request as part of a broader suit arguing the Biden administration violated the Administrative Procedures Act by failing to allow for a comment period on its revocation.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, didn’t use such notice and comment rulemaking to put the order in place, with the Trump administration instead using a sunset clause requiring the CDC to review the order every 60 days.
The court ruling comes as Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is set to make appearances before three different House committees this week, including the House Judiciary Committee, where ranking member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has outlined plans to grill him over plans for the withdrawal of Title 42.
—Updated at 6:29 p.m.