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

By: - November 15, 2022 3:55 pm

Families seeking asylum are taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents at the U.S.-Mexico border on Dec. 7, 2021 in Yuma, Arizona. (Photo by John Moore / Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — 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.

Her daughters are U.S. citizens. Title 42 won’t let this Guatemalan mother enter the country.

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

Ariana covers the nation's capital for States Newsroom. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections and campaign finance.