Three GOP-led states are taking the Biden administration to court over its border policies, claiming that the latest announcement would cause a “self-inflicted calamity” by unleashing a surge of illegal immigration at the southern border.
While the rest of the country is just talking about the ramifications of lifting the Trump-era Title 42 policy, three states are actually taking action to stop the Biden administration from ending the health order.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on April 1 that it would be ending Title 42, which allows border officials to expel illegal immigrants who attempt to enter the United States from a country where a communicable disease — such as COVID-19 — is present, effective May 23.
“After considering current public health conditions and an increased availability of tools to fight COVID-19 (such as highly effective vaccines and therapeutics), the CDC Director has determined that an Order suspending the right to introduce migrants into the United States is no longer necessary,” the CDC said in its announcement.
Title 42 has been used to remove illegal immigrants more than 1.7 million times, according to the Migrant Policy Institute.
During the Trump administration, 83% of encounters at the border led to expulsions, compared to only 55% under the Biden administration, the DC-based nonprofit think-tank reports.
At the same time as the administration plans to end Title 42, there are hundreds of illegal immigrants traveling north through Mexico towards the southern border, which has raised concerns that a wave of up to 170,000 people may converge on the border this spring, which is typically the peak period for crossings.
“This suit challenges an imminent, man-made, self-inflicted calamity: the abrupt elimination of the only safety valve preventing this Administration’s disastrous border policies from devolving into an unmitigated chaos and catastrophe,” the GOP attorneys general of Arizona, Louisiana and Missouri wrote in the filing.
The lawsuit from the three GOP-led states noted that, while the administration wants to end Title 42, it has “not seen fit elsewhere to act upon these improvements” in the pandemic situation by ending other COVID-related restrictions such as lifting mask mandates on domestic airline travel, loosening or repealing vaccine mandates, or ending what the attorneys general call a “relentless campaign” to discharge members of the military seeking religious exemptions for vaccine requirements.
“The Title 42 Revocation thus stands as a radical outlier — seemingly the only COVID-19-based restriction the Administration sees fit to end,” the filing states.
The suit also claims that the CDC’s termination of the policy is illegal both because it is in direct violation of the “notice-and-comments requirements” contained in the federal Administrative Procedure Act, and because it is “arbitrary and capricious” as it fails to take into account how it will affect the states.
The lawsuit was filed on April 3 in federal court in Louisiana.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich spoke about the action the states are taking during an April 4 interview on “Fox & Friends,” stating: “We want to stop the Biden administration from rescinding Title 42 because it may be one of the most boneheaded decisions of this administration, and they have done a lot of dumb things.”
“I’m doing everything I can to hold the Biden administration accountable and stop them from destroying our southern border,” he added.