Restrictions on the epidemic of migrants seeking asylum on the southern border should continue, a judge ruled on Friday early in an order blocking the Biden administration’s plan.
The ruling is only the last time a court has overturned an immigration policy proposed by the president along the US-Mexico border.
While the administration can appeal, the decision dramatically increases the likelihood that the restrictions will not end as planned on Monday. The delay would be a blow to lawyers who say asylum rights are being violated, a wake-up call for some Democrats who fear the much-anticipated rise in illegal crossings will put them in a defensive position in an already difficult midterm election year.
Migrants have been deported more than 1.9 million times since March 2020 under Title 42, a public health provision that deprives them of the opportunity to seek asylum under an international treaty to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
U.S. District Judge Robert Summerhays in Lafayette, Louisiana, ordered the restrictions to remain in place as long as the Arizona-Louisiana lawsuit, now joined by 22 other states, is pending.
The United States has argued that the administration has failed to properly address the effects of the lifting of restrictions on public health and law enforcement agencies. Arizona attorney Drew Ensain argued during the hearing that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not follow administrative procedures that require public notice to collect public comment.
Justice Department attorney Jean Lin told the judge that the CDC has the power to lift restrictions on health emergencies that are no longer needed. He said the order was a matter of health policy, not immigration.
Summerhais, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, had already made a decision in favor of the states, ending efforts to end the use of the rules of the epidemic period. Last month, he said the phasing out would punish states for “irreparable costs of health care, law enforcement, detention, education and other services.”
Title 42 is the second major policy of the Trump era to prevent asylum on the Mexican border, which was rejected by President Joe Biden and only revived by a judge appointed by Trump.
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about whether it would allow the administration to force asylum seekers to wait for a hearing in the U.S. Immigration Court in Mexico. The controversial case, known as “Stay in Mexico,” originated in Amarillo, Texas. It was restored in December by a judge հրաման մեջ remains in force while the trial continues.
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