US Judge Blocks Biden White House From Ending Title 42 Immigration Rule

© AP Photo / Eugene Garcia

A US federal judge has blocked the Biden administration from rescinding a rule that allows immigration authorities to summarily expel or reject entry to undocumented immigrants in the United States.

US President Joe Biden’s plans to end a controversial immigration practice left over from the Donald Trump administration have hit another snag after a federal judge in Louisiana blocked its termination.

US District Judge Robert Summerhays of the Western District of Louisiana said on Friday that removing the order, known as Title 42, would burden the police, health care and education systems of several border states if it were removed.

Title 42 is part of the Public Health Service Act of 1944 and allows the US government to expel people from the country who have been in a country where a communicable disease is present. When the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, then-US President Donald Trump issued an order under the rule allowing the rapid expulsion of people who illegally crossed the US border, arguing they could become a vector of COVID-19 infection.

In April, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the policy would be rescinded on May 23, calling it “no longer necessary” due to the availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

However, a total of 23 states have since brought a suit against the CDC, which Summerhays on Friday ruled in favor of.

It’s just the latest battle the Biden administration has waged in trying to depart from Trump-era immigration practices, which were widely reviled by liberals and which Biden began reversing on the first day of his administration.

Biden’s attempt last summer to scrap Trump’s “remain in Mexico” policy, which required asylum applicants to wait out their application’s navigation of a massive application backlog south of the border instead of inside the United States, was similarly greeted with lawsuits arguing the Department of Homeland Security had improperly ended it. Last month, the case went before the US Supreme Court. However, the conservative-dominated high court hasn’t yet delivered its ruling on the case.

Republicans in border states have similarly fought to restore funding for the construction of a massive border fence on the US-Mexico border, which served as the most visible piece of Trump’s domestic policy and which Biden ended early in his administration.

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