Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a brief in support of Texas’ lawsuit against the Biden Administration over their proposed exceptions to the Title 42 program.
Title 42 is a President Trump-era rule that allows for the federal government to expel migrants who are immigrating from a country where communicable disease is or was present. The brief argues that carving certain groups out of Title 42 expulsions at the border will create incentives for human traffickers to exploit loopholes and exceptions to federal immigration laws. Moreover, the brief also argues that the federal government is prohibited from releasing COVID-positive illegal aliens into the interior.
“The crisis at our southern border continues to rage on, demonstrating that the Biden Administration’s weak border policies continue to draw migrants through our border. My Office sued the Biden Administration for their cancellation of the Migrant Protection Protocols and won,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “Carving out exceptions to Title 42 expulsions will only benefit the human traffickers who profit off of a porous border. I’m proud to stand with Texas to help secure our border, even when the Biden Administration won’t.”
The Biden Administration proposed certain carveouts to the Title 42 expulsions, including for unaccompanied minors and family units.
The brief argues, “DHS violates federal law by catching and releasing COVID-positive illegal aliens. The release of aliens who have not been treated or screened for COVID-19 not only violates federal law but also increases the risk of irreparable harm to Missouri because, like in the MPP case, at least some [aliens] will certainly seek … healthcare services from the state.’”
Relating to human trafficking, the brief states, “Missouri’s ongoing fight against human trafficking—including the exploitation and trafficking of vulnerable migrants—likewise provides it with justiciable interests that fall within the zone of interests of federal statutes on immigration-related policy. Indeed, irresponsible border- security policies that invite and encourage human traffickers to exploit vulnerable border-crossing victims irreparably injure Missouri and Texas.”
Attorney General Schmitt previously filed suit against the Biden Administration over their cancellation of the Migrant Protection Protocols or the “Remain in Mexico” Policy. The Attorney General’s Office prevailed at the District Court and obtained a nationwide permanent injunction. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court denied the federal government’s request for a stay pending appeal, meaning the Biden Administration must re-implement the program during the pendency of the appeal.
The argument made in the “Remain in Mexico” case is similar in part to the argument made in Texas’ Title 42 lawsuit: a porous border increases instances of human trafficking both at the border and in the interior of the United States.