Fifteen Republican states on Monday night asked a federal judge to keep a Covid-era policy in place that allowed authorities to severely restrict asylum-seekers from crossing the border into the country after the judge issued a ruling last week that blocked the policy.
The 15 states seeking to intervene and keep Title 42 policy in effect were Arizona, Louisiana, Alabama, Alaska, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
The Title 42 policy has been used to expel over one million migrants to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic, was overturned. Washington D.C. Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled on November 15 that the Biden administration must end the policy in late December, giving them time to prepare for an expected influx of illegal migrants at the southern border.
The GOP states said that lifting the rule, which the Biden administration has sought to end, will increase the flow of migrants and “directly harm” them.
“Because invalidation of the Title 42 Orders will directly harm the states, they now seek to intervene to offer a defense of the Title 42 policy so that its validity can be resolved on the merits, rather than through strategic surrender,” the Republican states said intheir filing to Sullivan.
The Republican states also argued against the Biden administration’s change of tune on the policy after it previously fought against their previous attempt to keep the policy in place.
The filing also said, “The States have sovereign and quasi-sovereign interests in controlling their borders, limiting the persons present within those borders, excluding persons carrying communicable diseases, and the enforcement of immigration law.”
Sullivan cited the Administrative Procedures Act in his ruling, and characterized Title 42 as “arbitrary and capricious.” The Biden administration indicated that it won’t oppose Sullivan’s order in a court filing last week, but requested a temporary delay in lifting Title 42.
The Biden administration has faced pushback from both parties for its handling of Title 42. Republicans have widely opposed ending the policy, and some centrist Democrats expressed skepticism on whether the administration is prepared for an uptick of asylum-seekers.
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