Louisiana Judge blocks CDC from Ending Title 42

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A federal court in Louisiana ruled on Friday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cannot move forward with a plan to end pandemic-related emergency procedures that allow US border officers to quickly deport migrants to Mexico or their home countries on public health grounds. On May 23, when the CDC prepared to stop border expulsions, Judge Robert Summerhays of the United States District Court in Lafayette, Louisiana, granted a preliminary injunction barring the Biden administration from eliminating the limitations, known as Title 42.

According to CBS News, Judge Summerhays agreed with arguments provided by Republican attorneys general who sued the Biden administration, saying the CDC had wrongfully revoked Title 42, a public health authority granted after WWII. In his ruling, Summerhays stated, “Simply put, the CDC has not explained how the present circumstances prevented the CDC from issuing the Termination Order through the required notice and comment process.” Summerhays had previously granted a temporary restraining order prohibiting the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from beginning the phase-out of Title 42 before the May 23 deadline.

The Justice Department stated, “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) invoked its authority under Title 42 due to the unprecedented public-health dangers caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. CDC has now determined, in its expert opinion, that continued reliance on this authority is no longer warranted in light of the current public-health circumstances.” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed that the “authority to set public health policy nationally should rest with the Centers for Disease Control, not with a single district court,” adding that U.S. officials would comply with the order but ​​prepare for the “eventual lifting” of Title 42.

Friday’s decision is a win for more than 20 states, led by Republican attorneys general in Arizona, Louisiana, and Missouri that filed the lawsuit contesting the CDC’s decision to terminate Title 42. The states contended that if Title 42 is repealed, an anticipated rise in the number of migrants released from U.S. border detention will affect them financially, citing educational and other social service expenditures.

Over the last year, migrant arrests along the southern border of the United States have risen to new highs, fueled in part by rising rates of repeat crossing attempts by some adult migrants attempting to rejoin the United States after being deported to Mexico under Title 42.

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