A federal judge in Louisiana said Monday he would grant a motion barring the Biden administration from immediately removing an emergency border restriction related to the pandemic that has allowed US immigration officials to quickly expel migrants.
US District Judge Robert Summerhays, an appointee of former President Donald Trump overseeing the lawsuit brought by 21 Republican-led states, said in a notice that he had agreed to issue a temporary restraining order preventing officials from rescinding the rule known as Title 42. , which will end on May 23.
It is not yet clear if the order will prevent the administration from finalizing Title 42 on May 23, or if it will only prohibit them from beginning to liquidate the policy before then.
Summerhays, a judge for the US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, held a status conference on the case Monday afternoon. The status conference was closed to the press.
“For the reasons set forth in the record, the Court announced its intention to grant the motion,” the judge said in a summary of the hearing. “The parties will consult on the specific terms to be included in the Temporary Restraining Order and attempt to reach an agreement.”
Since its creation in March 2020, the Title 42 authority has allowed U.S. authorities along the Mexican border to expel migrants more than 1.8 million times to Mexico or their countries of origin without allowing them to apply for asylum, that is generally required by U.S. law, government data show. .
While rolling back other Trump-era border restrictions, the Biden administration continued Title 42 for more than a year, arguing that speedy removals were necessary to control the transmission of COVID-19 within immigration processing facilities.
But in early April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published an order saying the agency no longer believed the expulsions were necessary to protect public health. The CDC said it would stop authorizing Title 42 on May 23 to give border officials time to make preparations.
The CDC’s announcement alarmed Republicans and some moderate Democratic lawmakers, who expressed doubts about the Department of Homeland Security’s ability to deal with a possible surge in immigrant arrivals after Title 42 is lifted.
Last week, the 21 states that sued the administration, led by Arizona, Louisiana and Missouri, said border officials had already begun winding down Title 42 and asked Summerhays to issue a temporary restraining order “against any implementation of Termination Order before May 23.” Effective date.”
DHS representatives did not respond to requests for comment on Monday’s development. A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.
InWith CBS News last week, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas pushed back on criticism that his department has not been adequately preparing for the termination of Title 42. He cited the deployment of additional personnel to the southern border, the expansion of migrant transport assets and the establishment of processing facilities.
“The claim that we have no plans is a claim that is not supported by the facts,”. “We have been planning for months to address increases in migration; those that we have already experienced and those that we could experience with the end of Title 42.”
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to clarify the issue the judge’s temporary restraining order is expected to address.