Louisiana judge blocks Biden from lifting Title 42 immigration rule

Title 42 is a pandemic order that allows border agents to eject migrants from the U.S. if they came from somewhere facing a communicable disease.

Updated: September 8, 2022 - 3:23pm

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A Louisiana judge ruled Friday that President Biden must at least temporarily keep in place federal rule Title 42 that was activate by the Trump administration as a public health measure to limit immigration during the pandemic. 

Judge Robert Summerhays, a Trump appointee for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, imposed the preliminary injunction against the lifting of the order while the case advances through the court system.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was set to end the decades-old rule Monday.

Title 42 more specifically allows for the removal of migrants if they come from somewhere facing a communicable disease.

Over 1.9 million migrants have reportedly been expelled from the U.S. under the rule since April 2020, about a month after the pandemic was declared.

The request to stop the deactivation of Title 42 was brought before Summerhays in a suit filed by roughly two dozen attorneys general from Republican-run states. 

They argue that Biden administration ending Title 42 enforcement violates the Administrative Procedures Act given the absence of a notice and comment period prior to rescinding the order. They also argued the administration did not take into account the problems its decision would cause state.

The Biden administration argues Title 42 is a health order, which means the CDC has full authority to end it.

The lifting of Title 42 is widely expected to cause a significant surge in border crossings as immigration officials will lose one of their primary legal means of deporting illegal migrants. Republicans have warned of a human "tsunami" should Title 42 be lifted.