Federal judge rules Title 42 will stay in effect

by mcardinal

Lauren Moye, FISM NEWS


Title 42, the public health measure that allows asylum seekers to be turned away at the U.S. border, must remain in effect according to a Louisiana federal judge. The court decision will stop President Joe Biden and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) from terminating the health order on Monday.

Judge Robert Summerhays from Louisiana’s Western District sided with 24 states who banded together to fight Biden’s planned rollback of Title 42. His ruling grants the plaintiff’s request for a preliminary injunction until the case can be heard in a full trial.

Biden announced on April 1 that Title 42 would end, prompting attorneys general from Louisiana, Arizona, and Missouri to file a lawsuit on April 3. Summerhays placed a temporary stay on Title 42 on April 27 after the states argued on their brief that the order was needed to prevent a “catastrophe.”

Now, in Friday’s 47-page court opinion, the 2018 Trump-appointed judge ruled that the Biden Administration must keep the Trump-era immigration policy in place for two reasons.

First, the termination order failed to meet Administrative Procedure Act standards, because the CDC officials did not use a notice-and-comment process as is proper for a rule change before issuing it. Additionally, the fifth district judge ruled that the CDC did not consider other alternatives before ending the order.

More notably, Summerhays’ opinion found the states proved overturning Title 42 would result in “temporary and irreparable harm” from a predicted surge in border crossings. The judge noted that federal government officials had themselves noted this result.

Summerhays wrote: “The record reflects that – based on the government’s own predictions – that the Termination Order will result in an increase in daily border crossings and that this increase could be as large as a three-fold increase to 18,000 daily border crossing. Moreover, the CDC’s own Termination Order acknowledges that the order ‘will lead to an increase in a number of non-citizens being processed in DHS facilities which could result in overcrowding in congregate settings.”

Since former President Donald Trump first implemented Title 42, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol have expulsed over 1.8 million immigrants. April saw a record high of immigrants with 201,800 encounters at the Southwest border according to a recent court filing. The same report showed that over 90,000 of these encounters ended in a Title 42 expulsion. Without this in place plaintiff states would bear the cost of this immigration increase in health care and education services.

The Biden Administration announced they would appeal on Friday, according to a statement from Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. She wrote, “The authority to set public health policy nationally should rest with the Centers for Disease Control, not with a single district court.”

She added that the Biden Administration would comply with the injunction, however, by continuing to enforce Title 42 while “planning for the eventual lifting of Title 42” at the CDC’s judgment.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich tweeted, “Today’s ruling is a significant win for the rule of law and for the safety of our communities.”

Eric Schmitt, the Missouri attorney general, called the decision a “huge win for border security.”