February 1, 2023

Supreme Court says Trump-era border restriction will remain in effect while legal challenges play out

4 min read


The Supreme Court said on Tuesday that the controversial… The Trump-era border ban known as Title 42. It will remain in effect until legal challenges are exhausted, a move that ensures federal officials will be able to quickly deport immigrants at the U.S. border for at least the next several months.

The 5-4 order is a victory for the Republican-led states that pushed for it. Stepping into the Supreme Court and block a lower court opinion that ordered the authority terminated. The Biden administration has said it is ready. Precautionary measures were taken to eliminate the authority and to avoid chaos on the border. and any possible increase in immigration.

In its order, the court also agreed to take the states’ appeal within that period. The court said it will hear arguments on the case during its argument session beginning in February 2023.

Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan said they would reject the request, but did not elaborate. Conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch also dissented and explained his thinking in an order joined by liberal Justice Kitanji Brown-Jackson.

Gorsuch said he “doesn’t minimize states’ concerns” about border security. But Gorsuch noted that Title 42 was put in place to combat Covid-19, and “the current border crisis is not a Covid crisis.”

“Courts should not be in the business of continuing executive orders designed for one emergency simply because elected officials have failed to deal with a different emergency,” Gorsuch wrote.

Since March 2020, Title 42 has allowed US border agents to immediately turn back immigrants crossing the southern border in the name of preventing Covid-19.

Immigrant advocates and public health experts have long condemned the use of the public health authority along the U.S. southern border, arguing that it was an inappropriate excuse to prevent immigrants from entering the United States. . In about three years, that authority has been used to return immigrants more than 2 million times, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

At the border, migrants have been waiting in camps in Mexico for months, waiting for the authority to end so they can claim asylum in the United States. Migrant advocates have tried to spread updates and information to migrants, but frustration has grown, especially as temperatures drop.

El Paso, Texas, has been the epicenter of the crisis. Because thousands of migrants have crossed this border area. The city has opened government-run shelters in its convention center, hotels and several disused schools to care for the refugees, though some still have to sleep on the streets in freezing temperatures.

The Department of Homeland Security is developing a plan to end that authority that includes increasing resources at the border, targeting smugglers and working with international partners. CNN has reached out to the department for comment on the decision.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Preluger acknowledged in the Supreme Court last week that returning to traditional protocols along the border would pose a challenge, but said there was no longer any basis for maintaining the Covid-era rules.

“The government in no way tries to downplay the seriousness of the problem. But the solution to the immigration problem cannot be to indefinitely extend the public health measures that everyone now recognizes as public health justification has been eliminated,” Preluger wrote in a filing with the Supreme Court.

Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing families subject to Title 42, emphasized in the arguments the dangers facing asylum seekers and sending them back to Mexico.

Lee Gallerant, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, told CNN in a statement that he was “deeply disappointed” by the decision, but would continue to fight to end the policy.

“We are deeply disappointed for all the desperate refugees who will continue to suffer because of Title 42, but we will continue to fight to end this policy,” Gallerant said.

Steve Vladek, a CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law, called the ruling “procedurally odd.”

“The order is procedurally odd, in that it grants a request by states that were not even parties to the decision to freeze the district court’s decision only to decide whether they should intervene. And should have been allowed to defend that decision on appeal,” Vladek said. “Title 42 aside, there are far more potential consequences for the ability of states moving forward to fight to prevent the current president from undoing the policies of his predecessors.”

GOP-led states had argued that ending the authority would hurt them because of the influx of immigrants entering the United States.

“The border crisis that respondents so grotesquely and eagerly seek to create will also greatly harm the States,” the filing, filed last Wednesday, reads.

This story has been updated with additional reporting.

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