WASHINGTON, D.C. – A court order from a Louisiana federal judge is currently pending that – when made official – would effectively block the Biden Administration from removing the Title 42 border restrictions that currently allow for the expulsion of numerous illegal migrants for health-related reasons, a move that the White House has indicated they will comply with when it comes to pass.
Title 42 is a clause of the 1944 Public Health Services Law that the Trump Administration began using in March 2020 to rapidly expel migrants from the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic due to possible “introduction of communicable diseases.”
The Biden Administration had originally set May 23 as the date that it would rescind Title 42, which stoked fears amongst Republicans – and many Democrats as well – that a massive wave of illegal border crossings would come in its wake. March alone saw 210,000 attempted illegal border crossings.
The attorneys general of three states – Arizona, Louisiana and Missouri – had even sued the Biden Admin to prevent ending of Title 43, citing “disastrous border policies” that have led to hundreds of thousands of migrants illegally attempting to cross the southern border into the U.S. each month.
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A Louisiana district court judge noted that they would block the removal of Title 42 until such time that the White House negotiates a deal with several Republican states at the border that would be most negatively affected by a potential migrant surge. Biden officials confirmed on Tuesday that the administration would abide by the court order if it is issued.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had previously released their plans to deal with the expected migrant surge if Title 42 were dropped, which would have consisted of additional medical and transportation resources to be allocated to the border. However, the plan was blasted as being woefully inadequate by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
Upon the announcement on April 1 of Biden’s intention to scrap Title 42, even the president’s fellow Democrats were critical of the decision, including Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ).
“The administration hasn’t even prepared, and they don’t have a plan for what to expect. Forget about the unexpected part, I’m just asking for the first part of this,” Kelly said during an April 16 interview. “We know what the situation on the ground is going to be. Let’s come up with a detailed plan and put it in place…and I just haven’t seen that.