A federal judge has granted a temporary restraining order preventing the Biden administration from ending Title 42.
The Trump-era public health order allows the US government to quickly refuse migrants at the Southern border due to COVID-19 — without allowing them to seek asylum.
The Centers for Disease Control announced at the beginning of April that they intended to end Title 42 on May 23, claiming that “suspending the right to introduce migrants into the United States is no longer necessary” due to “an increased availability of tools to fight COVID-19.”
In an effort to keep Title 42 in place, a lawsuit was filed by the states of Missouri, Louisiana, and Arizona in the US District Court in Louisiana. Eventually, more than 20 states were asking to keep the order in place.
On Monday, Trump-appointed US District Judge Robert Summerhays issued an order saying, “for the reasons stated on the record, the Court announced its intent to grant the motion. The parties will confer regarding the specific terms to be contained in the Temporary Restraining Order and attempt to reach agreement.”
The hearing was closed to the press, so details about the “reasons” remain unknown.
BREAKING NEWS: 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.
— Attorney General Eric Schmitt (@AGEricSchmitt) April 25, 2022
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt celebrated the decision on Twitter, writing, “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.”
“We applaud the Court for approving our request for a Temporary Restraining Order to keep Title 42 in place,” Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in a statement. “The Biden administration cannot continue in flagrant disregard for existing laws and required administrative procedures.”
President Joe Biden had vowed to lift the policy if he was elected, but it had remained in place since he took office.
Over one million migrants have been turned away at the border under the order since it went into place in March, 2020.
“We’re continuing to prepare for a May 23 implementation,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during a briefing on Monday. “There will be a range of conversations about this over the coming days.”
Vulnerable Senate and House Democrats facing tough midterm elections have been urging the administration to delay their plan to end the order.
Speaking to Politico last week, a White House official defended the decision, saying “it was a matter of public health, not politics, and that Title 42 ‘is not a policy to applaud or defend or anything.’ A former Biden administration official and immigrant advocates also said the White House had long been working on a plan to better manage influxes of migrants and asylum seekers at the border. But they urged the White House to provide more transparency and better communicate with Democratic lawmakers.”
Texas has also filed their own separate lawsuit seeking to block the administration from ending Title 42. There has not been any ruling in that case at this time.