Fifteen states with Republican attorneys general filed a petition in federal court late Monday seeking to block the termination of a pandemic-era order that allows US border officials to quickly exclude migrants on public health grounds. allows removal.
Arizona, Louisiana, Alabama, Alaska, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming asked US District Court Judge Emmett Sullivan in Washington, DC to allow them to intervene. asked to give. In a lawsuit over the migrant removal policy known as Title 42.
First authorized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in March 2020 during the Trump administration, Title 42 allows the US to expel more than 2.4 million migrants to Mexico or their home countries, barring them from requesting asylum. Show government data, without permission.
Earlier this month, Sullivan declared Title 42 invalid,that the federal government had not properly enacted or explained the border removals. Sullivan gave the Biden administration five weeks until December 21 to stop deporting immigrants under Title 42. He said he was doing so reluctantly so officials could prepare for a policy change.
In its emergency filing on Monday, the coalition of states said Biden administration officials had “abandoned their defense” of Title 42 for only a five-week suspension of Sullivan’s ruling and for not appealing it.
“Because invalidating Title 42 orders would directly harm the states, they now seek intervention to offer a defense of Title 42 policy by resolving its legality on the merits rather than strategic surrender,” the states wrote. .
States said the expiration of Title 42 would lead to greater numbers of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border illegally. A sharp increase in immigration, the Republican attorney general argued, would hurt their states economically, citing the cost of social services for the immigrants.
The states’ proposal was opposed by the Biden administration and the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed a lawsuit challenging the Title 42 repeal.
Lee Gelernt, the ACLU attorney in the case, said the states’ request was inconsistent with their opposition to other pandemic-related restrictions, such as vaccine and mask mandates.
“States are clearly and erroneously trying to use Title 42 to restrict asylum and not the law’s public health purposes,” Gellernat said. “Suddenly these states believe that COVID restrictions are needed when it comes to avoiding the threat of migrants.”
While it defended Title 42 for over a year as a major public health measure, in April the Biden administration announced it would gradually end the removals, saying they would reduce the spread of COVID-19 at the US-Mexico border. were not necessary to prevent the spread of
But a coalition of Republican-led states, including several that joined Monday’s motion, persuaded a federal judge in Louisiana to block Title 42’s termination on procedural grounds. That order was superseded by a Sullivan decision earlier this month.
While officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have said they are preparing for the end of Title 42, and a possible increase in illegal border crossings, its termination would end the main policy on which the Biden administration has managed a record number trusted to do. of migrant apprehensions
In fiscal year 2022, federal officers at the southern border will stop migrants nearly 2.4 million times, the most ever. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data shows that more than 1 million of those border encounters resulted in the removal of immigrants under Title 42.
Last month, the US expanded Title 42, expelling thousands of Venezuelan migrants into Mexico, as part of an effort to stop an unprecedented wave of Venezuelan migration along the southern border.