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Supreme Court hands border states big win, orders Title 42 to remain in place during legal challenge

Title 42 is an order allowing border authorities to swiftly deport migrants if they hail from a country known to host a communicable disease such as COVID-19.

Published: December 27, 2022 4:19pm

Updated: December 27, 2022 6:43pm

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered that a COVID-19 era immigration order remain in place.

Title 42 is an order allowing border authorities to swiftly deport migrants if they hail from a country known to host a communicable disease such as COVID-19. Border officials have deported an estimated 2.5 million migrants under the order since its implementation. Many detractors of the Biden administration's approach fear that its end could prompt an even greater surge.

Oral arguments have been set for the February 2023 session, meaning the order is likely to remain in place for several months, until the court returns a ruling.

"The States contend that they face an immigration crisis at the border and policymakers have failed to agree on adequate measures to address it," the ruling reads. "The only means left to mitigate the crisis, the States suggest, is an order from this Court directing the federal government to continue its COVID-era Title 42 policies as long as possible—at the very least during the pendency of our review. Today, the Court supplies just such an order."

Border state officials celebrated the court's intervention. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, in a Tuesday tweet, said "Today, SCOTUS handed Texas and the USA a huge victory by allowing Title 42 to remain in place after Biden illegally tried to terminate this critical policy."

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, meanwhile, stated that his office had "led the charge to stop Joe Biden from rescinding Title 42," adding "[t]he safety of American families is NOT expendable to political expediency."

"Our office has been proud to lead the charge on this important issue," he said in a separate press release. "It's disappointing the Biden administration is willing to sacrifice the safety of American families for political purposes."

Chief Justice John Roberts issued an order last week temporarily delaying the halt of the order pending the issuance of a longer-term decision from the court.

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