U.S. district court strikes down use of Title 42 to expel migrants

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(Missouri Independent) – A federal judge on Tuesday blocked the government from continuing Title 42 —  a controversial pandemic-era health policy used by both the Trump and Biden administrations to expel nearly 2 million migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The request to halt the use of Title 42 had been filed by immigrant advocacy groups and the American Civil Liberties Union, who argued the policy violates U.S. asylum law by not allowing those migrants to claim asylum. Senior District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in Washington, D.C., found the use of the policy “arbitrary and capricious in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.”

Sullivan is a Clinton administration appointee. Sullivan previously exempted unaccompanied children from the order in 2020.

Many congressional Democrats have pressured the Biden administration to scrap the policy, though others asked the administration to put a comprehensive policy in place before ending Title 42,  a designation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In May, a federal judge in Louisiana temporarily blocked the Biden administration from halting Title 42.

Twenty-four states, including Arizona, Louisiana, and Missouri, had filed a lawsuit in April to keep Title 42 in place. Several of the states alleged that the uptick in immigrants would increase the amount of money they needed to spend on education, health care, and law enforcement.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security did not respond to a request for comment.

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Ariana Figueroa


Ariana Figueroa covers the nation's capital for States Newsroom, a network of state-based nonprofit news outlets that includes The Missouri Independent. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance. Before joining States Newsroom, Ariana covered public health and chemical policy on Capitol Hill for E&E News. As a Florida native, she's worked for the Miami Herald and her hometown paper, the Tampa Bay Times. Her work has also appeared in the Chicago Tribune and NPR. She is a graduate of the University of Florida.