Federal judge in Louisiana halts Title 42 repeal

by mcardinal

Chris Lange, FISM News


A federal judge in Louisiana has temporarily blocked the Biden administration from ending expulsions of illegal immigrants under Title 42 next month. 

Judge Robert Summerhays, a 2019 Trump appointee serving on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, issued the ruling in a lawsuit brought against the administration by Republican lawmakers from 21 GOP-led states. The decision is only temporary, as it will expire on May 9, but for now, it bars the administration from implementing its May 23 repeal of Title 42 until arguments for a more formal injunction can be considered.

The Trump-era COVID-19 health requirement has enabled border agents to expel about 1.7 million illegal immigrants at the border since 2020.

The states made the request as part of a broader lawsuit alleging that the Biden administration violated the Administrative Procedures Act by failing to provide a comment period after the Centers for Disease Control announced its decision to lift the regulation, citing a drop in COVID-19 infections.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) praised the court’s decision, tweeting, “Joe Biden’s reckless decision to rescind Title 42 would have flooded our already stressed southern border with illegal immigrants. Fortunately, today a judge has granted our request to halt this enormous threat to our national security.”

Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz called the court’s decision “a step in the right direction.”

“Keeping Title 42 will ensure our already overrun border doesn’t collapse completely,” Cruz tweeted.

“Glad the court has joined my fight to stop Biden opening the border even more by dropping title 42”, wrote Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), a member of a bipartisan group of Senators who penned a bill to block the repeal earlier this month. 

The Louisiana court ruling comes ahead of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ anticipated testimony before three House committees on Capitol Hill this week, including the House Judiciary Committee, where ranking member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) says he intends to grill Mayorkas on the repeal. Jordan previously accused the Biden administration of intentionally creating the border crisis.

GOP House members are also likely to press Mayorkas on the tragic death of Bishop Evans, a Texas National Guardsman who drowned in the Rio Grande while attempting to rescue two illegal immigrants. Both immigrants survived, and several media outlets later reported that the duo was smuggling drugs across the border when Evans attempted to pull them to safety. 

President Biden has been the subject of a bipartisan assault for his administration’s decision to lift Title 42 amid the nation’s unprecedented border crisis. Progressive Democrats and pro-migrant activists, however, claim Title 42 has caused the expulsion of migrants with legitimate asylum claims, thus violating international law. 

DHS officials have warned that migrant apprehensions could soar to 18,000 per day if the administration presses forward with the repeal, according to reporting by NPR. The amount is more than double the record-breaking 7,000 migrant encounters per day that agents are currently tasked with managing.

The number of migrant apprehensions at the border soared to more than 2 million in 2021.