LAFAYETTE, La. ( Associated Press) – Epidemic restrictions on migrants seeking asylum at the southern border should continue, a judge ordered Friday blocking the Biden administration’s plans to lift them early next week.
The ruling is the latest example of the court derailing the president’s proposed immigration policies along the US border with Mexico.
While the administration can appeal, the ruling sharply raises the odds that restrictions will not end as planned on Monday. The delay would be a blow to advocates who say asylum rights are being trampled on, and a relief to some Democrats who fear a widely projected increase in illegal crossings will put them in an already difficult midterm election year. Will put me on the defensive.
Migrants have been expelled more than 1.9 million times since March 2020 under Title 42, a public health provision that prevents them from requesting asylum under US law and international treaty based on preventing the spread of COVID-19. denies.
U.S. District Judge Robert Summerhage in Lafayette, Louisiana ordered that the restrictions remain in place, while a lawsuit led by Arizona and Louisiana — and now joined by 22 other states — plays out in court.
The states argued that the administration had failed to adequately consider the effects that lifting the ban would have on public health and law enforcement. Drew Ensign, an Arizona state attorney, argued in a hearing that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention failed to follow administrative procedures that require time to collect public notice and public comment.
Justice Department attorney Jean Lin told the judge that the CDC had authority to lift an emergency health ban it felt was no longer needed. He said the order was a matter of health policy, not immigration.
Somerhays, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, had already ruled in favor of the states by halting efforts to block their use of the pandemic-era rule. He said last month that a phasing out would plague states with “unrecoverable costs on health care, law enforcement, detention, education and other services”.
Title 42 is the second major Trump-era policy to block asylum on the Mexican border that was closed by President Joe Biden, only to be revived by a Trump-appointed judge.
Last month, the US Supreme Court heard arguments on whether to allow the administration to force asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for a hearing in the US Immigration Court. In that case, the challenge to the policy, known as “Stay in Mexico”, originated in Amarillo, Texas. It was reinstated in December on a judge’s order and remains in effect until the trial goes on.