MAY 20, 2022
Families with children live in tents the Movimiento Juventud 2000 shelter with refugee migrants from Central and South American countries including Honduras and Haiti seeking asylum in the United States, as Title 42 and Remain In Mexico border restrictions continue, in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico on April 9, 2022. – Thousands of Latino refugees arrive in the Mexican city of Tijuana each year, dreaming of one day crossing the border that separates them from the United States. But as Ukrainians who fled Russia’s invasion have recently begun to cross the same frontier with little delay, many Latinos stuck waiting for months are wondering why they are not being treated the same.”Why are we — neighbors of the United States — not given the same opportunity to seek asylum? We came here fleeing almost the same thing,” said L., a 44-year-old Mexican man. (Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
A federal judge in Louisiana is refusing to end pandemic-related restrictions on migrants seeking asylum on the southern border.
U.S. District Judge Robert Summerhays on Friday blocked a plan by President Joe Biden’s administration to lift the restrictions next Monday.
Title 42, a public health order issued by the Trump administration, allows Customs and Border Protection to expel migrants to Mexico or back to their home countries to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in holding facilities.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in April the policy would be rescinded on May 23 because it was “no longer necessary” after “considering current public health conditions and an increased availability of tools to fight COVID-19.”
The ruling is the latest blow to President Joe Biden’s immigration agenda. Over the past several weeks, he has been hit hard by Republicans and some Democrats for his administration’s decision to end Title 42. But progressive Democrats and immigration advocates have been calling on Biden for months to end the public health order.
Arizona, Louisiana and Missouri led the coalition of states challenging the Biden administration’s effort to lift Title 42. In a hearing earlier this month , they argued that their states’ health care, law enforcement and education systems would be overly burdened by an influx of undocumented immigrants if the public health restriction is lifted.
Jean Lin, who represented the government, argued the CDC is allowed to end Title 42 because it was enacted as part of a public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic and not part of immigration policy. Ending Title 42 is at the discretion of the CDC director, she said.
More than 1 million people were expelled under Title 42 in fiscal year 2021.
Biden administration officials have said they are preparing for an increased number of people coming to the U.S.-Mexico border after the policy ends. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has laid out a six-point plan to address the expected increase, including sending more personnel to the border.
This is not the first time courts have overturned the Biden administration’s policy decisions.
The Biden administration last year was ordered by the courts to restart the Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as “Remain in Mexico,” after ending the policy last summer. The Remain in Mexico policy forces migrants to wait in Mexico for their immigration hearings.