Federal judge orders to maintain Title 42

A federal judge in Louisiana has blocked the Biden administration’s decision to lift the Title 42 health order that allowed border officials to expel tens of thousands of illegal immigrants, keeping the policy in place hours before it was due to expire.

US District Judge Robert Summerhays issued his ruling Friday, a week after hearing arguments in a lawsuit filed in April by 24 Republican state attorneys general seeking to keep the policy in place.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last month that the policy would be lifted on May 23, raising fears among Republican and Democratic lawmakers of an exponential increase in crossings along the southern border.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, Title 42 has allowed border officials to expel most migrants trying to enter the US without hearing their asylum claims.

Robert R. Summerhays issued his ruling on Title 42 on Friday.
Harry Hamburg/AP

According to official estimates, more than 1.7 million migrants have been expelled under the policy since it was implemented.

Summerhays, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, first issued a temporary restraining order in April to prevent Title 42 from being lifted before making a decision on state prosecutors’ lawsuit.

The decision to lift Title 42 has been heavily criticized by border state officials, even as current migration levels skyrocket with it.

In April, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported a record 234,088 unique and repeat migrant encounters along the southern border, but only 97,000 were removed under Title 42.

Migrants use a makeshift raft to illegally cross the Suchiate River from Tecun Uman in Guatemala to Ciudad Hidalgo in Mexico on May 17.
Migrants use a makeshift raft to illegally cross the Suchiate River from Tecun Uman in Guatemala to Ciudad Hidalgo in Mexico on May 17.
Stringer/AFP via Getty Images
Migrants cross the Rio Grande to become US Border Patrol agents as they apply for asylum on May 19.
Migrants cross the Rio Grande to become US Border Patrol agents as they apply for asylum on May 19.
Go Nakamura/New York Post

If the order had been lifted, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, warned that up to 18,000 could cross the border daily.

Despite the concerns, the Biden administration repeatedly defended the decision to lift the policy, with former White House press secretary Jen Psaki calling on Congress to take action if it wanted the policy to remain in place.

Asylum-seeking migrants walk across the Paso del Norte International Bridge to enter Mexico after being expelled from the US on May 19.
Asylum-seeking migrants walk across the Paso del Norte International Bridge to enter Mexico after being expelled from the US on May 19.
Go Nakamura/New York Post
People on makeshift rafts on the river.
Multiple makeshift rafts are being used to cross from Guatemala to Mexico on May 17.
Stringer/AFP via Getty Images

This is a developing story.

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