Judge blocks US border officials from settling Title 42 deportation policy

A federal judge in Louisiana said Monday that he would accept a proposal to prevent the Biden administration from immediately imposing a pandemic-related emergency border restriction that has allowed U.S. immigration authorities to expel migrants quickly.

U.S. District Judge Robert Summerhays, a nominee for former President Donald Trump who oversees the case brought by 21 Republican-led states, said in a statement that he had agreed to issue a temporary restraining order blocking officials from resigning. the rule known as Title 42, which is set to end on May 23rd.

It is not yet clear whether the order will block the administration from ending Title 42 on May 23, or whether it will only ban them from starting to run the policy before then.

Summerhays, a judge at the U.S. District Court for the District of Louisiana, held a status conference on the case Monday afternoon. The status conference was closed to the press.

“For the reasons set out in the minutes, the court announced its intention to grant the request,” the judge said in a summary of the hearing. “The parties will consult on the specific terms to be contained in the interim stay and seek to reach agreement.”

Since its inception in March 2020, the Title 42 authority has allowed U.S. authorities along the Mexican border to deport migrants over 1.8 million times to Mexico or their home countries without allowing them to seek asylum, which is generally required by U.S. law, government data shows. .

While reversing other border restrictions from the Trump era, the Biden administration continued Title 42 for over a year, arguing that the rapid deportations were necessary to control the transfer of COVID-19 within migrant processing facilities.

But earlier in April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an order saying the agency no longer believed the deportations were necessary to protect public health. The CDC said it would stop approving section 42 on May 23 to give border officials time to prepare.

The CDC announcement alerted Republicans and some moderate Democratic lawmakers who have expressed doubts about the Department of Homeland Security’s ability to handle a likely increase in migrant incomes after Title 42 is lifted.

Last week, the 21 states suing the administration, led by Arizona, Louisiana and Missouri, said border officials had already begun settling Title 42 and asked the Summerhays to issue a temporary restraining order “against any implementation of the notice of termination before its May 23 effective date. . ”

Representatives of DHS did not respond to requests for comment on Monday’s developments. A spokeswoman for the Justice Department declined to comment.

IN an interview with CBS News last week, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorka rejected criticism that his department had not adequately prepared for Title 42’s resignation. He mentioned the deployment of additional staff to the southern border, the expansion of migrant transport assets and the establishment of treatment facilities.

“The claim that we have no plans is a claim that is not substantiated in reality,” said Mayorkas. “For several months, we have been planning to address increases in migration; those that we have already experienced and those that we may want to experience when Title 42 ends.”

Editor’s note: This story was updated to clarify the issue that the judge’s temporary stay is expected to resolve.

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