Federal Judge Issues Temporary Restraining Order Barring Biden From Ending Title 42

A federal judge has temporarily blocked the Biden administration from eliminating the pandemic health program known as Title 42 on May 23. The decision delays what Homeland Security officials said would result in an unprecedented influx of migrants to the U.S.-Mexico border.  It is a victory for three Republican states that filed the action in early April, which has now been joined by 18 other states. The suit was brought in early April in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. It states, in part, “This suit challenges an imminent, man-made, self-inflicted calamity: the abrupt elimination of the only safety valve preventing this Administration’s disastrous border policies from devolving into an unmitigated chaos and catastrophe.”

On Monday, Judge Robert Summerhays issued a temporary restraining order in the lawsuit, instructing the Department of Justice and the states to sort out the terms of the policy’s continuation, which went into effect in March 2020. It required U.S. border authorities to send migrants away immediately after they crossed the border unlawfully. Migrants seeking refuge at international bridges would also be unable to do so. The interim policy was only valid for 60 days but was renewed twice in the last two years. During that time, border agents turned away approximately 1.7 million migrants, many of whom have attempted to cross the border several times.

The complaint was filed as a response to President Biden’s decision to end the policy following months of criticism from immigration groups who claimed the regulation discriminates against asylum seekers. The three states contended that the White House terminating Title 42 violates the Administrative Procedure Act’s notice-and-comment requirement. Many Republicans and some Democrats believe ending the regulation will encourage many more individuals to try to cross the border illegally, exacerbating the current migrant problem that began shortly after President Joe Biden took office.

Recent polls have shown that Americans are largely dissatisfied with the administration’s handling of the border, prompting centrist Democrats and those running for reelection in November to move away from Biden and his effort to repeal Title 42.

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