Title 42 must remain in place, judge rules

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EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — A federal judge in Louisiana ruled Friday that the Biden administration must continue expelling migrants at the border under Title 42.

Title 42 is the World War II-era public health order that prohibits entry into the United States if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes it could introduce communicable diseases into the country.

Invoked at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, Title 42 has allowed U.S. Border Patrol agents and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers to immediately expel migrants from the U.S. without giving them a chance to request asylum. 

As of the end of April, migrants have been expelled under Title 42 order more than 1.9 million times. 

Because the migrants face expulsion without a record of the removal, many attempt to cross more than once, officials say.

Led by Arizona and Louisiana, 24 states in challenged the White House’s plans to end Title 42, arguing that the Biden administration “failed to consider the effects of a Title termination on immigration enforcement and the states.”

The Biden administration planned to end Tite 42 on Monday, but Judge Robert Summerhays’ ruling Friday will keep the restrictions in place while the lawsuit makes its way through the court.

The states argue that the termination of Title 42 “will result in a surge of border crossings, and that this surge will result in an increase in illegal immigrants residing in the states.” The plaintiffs also worry that using Title 8 to process migrants apprehended at the border will result in their release.

The Department of Homeland Security predicted that as many as 18,000 migrants per day would try to cross if Title 42 were lifted.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials stopped migrants 234,088 times on the Mexican border in April, one of the highest in decades and a 5.8% increase from 221,303 in March, according to figures released this week.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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