Title 42: Federal Judge Blocks Rule Allowing Deportation of Migrants at U.S.-Mexico Border

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CNN

A federal judge on Tuesday blocked Title 42 – a controversial rule that allowed US authorities to deport more than a million migrants who crossed the US-Mexico border.

Tuesday’s court order leaves the Biden administration without one of the key tools it deployed to deal with the thousands of migrants arriving at the border daily and could restore access to asylum for arriving migrants .

While the rule was drafted by the Trump administration during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Biden administration relied heavily on it to manage the surge in migrants at the border.

District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington, D.C., found the Title 42 order to be “arbitrary and capricious in violation of administrative procedure law.”

Prior to Title 42, all migrants apprehended at the border were processed under immigration law. Thousands of migrants sent back to Mexico wait along the border in shelters. Officials have previously raised concerns about what the end of Title 42 might portend, given limited resources and the high number of people trying to enter the country.

Sullivan’s move also follows the resignation of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus, who Mayorkas asked last week to resign. CBP Deputy Commissioner Troy Miller is now the acting commissioner.

CNN has reached out to the White House, Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security for comment.

Sullivan blamed the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which issued the public health order, for “its decision to ignore the harm that could be caused” in issuing the policy. He said the CDC has also not considered alternative approaches, such as letting migrants self-quarantine with friends, family or U.S.-based shelters. The agency, he said, should have reconsidered its approach when vaccines and testing became widely available.

“With respect to whether the defendants could have ‘intensified vaccinations, outdoor treatment, and all other available public health measures,’ the court finds that the CDC has failed to articulate satisfactory why such measures were not feasible,” Sullivan wrote.

The judge also found that the policy did not rationally serve its purpose, given that Covid-19 was already widespread in the United States when the policy was rolled out.

“Title 42 was never about public health, and this ruling finally ends the charade of using Title 42 to prevent desperate asylum seekers from even getting a hearing,” the lawyer said. of the American Civil Liberties Union Lee Gelernt, who argued the case, in a statement.

The injunction request came from the ACLU, as well as other immigrant advocacy groups, involves all demographics, including single adults and families. Unaccompanied children were already exempt from the order.

The public health authority was invoked at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and has been criticized by immigrant advocates, lawyers and health experts who say it has no health basis and puts migrants at risk. danger.

Sullivan previously blocked the Biden administration from deporting migrant families with children apprehended at the US-Mexico border.

Earlier this year, in anticipation of the lifting of Title 42 and under pressure from lawmakers, the Department of Homeland Security released a 20-page plan to handle a potential surge in migrants at the border. A separate federal judge struck down the administration’s intention to terminate Title 42 at the time.

The CDC said at the time that was no longer necessary given current public health conditions and the increased availability of vaccines and treatments for Covid-19.

But in May, a federal judge in Louisiana blocked the Biden administration from ending Title 42.

Since that court order, the administration has continued to use Title 42 and, more recently, expanded it to include Venezuelan migrants who have arrived in large numbers at the US southern border.

In October, there were more than 204,000 arrests along the southern US border and more than 78,400 deportations under Title 42, according to CBP data.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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