Federal Judge Bars Biden From Lifting Trump-Era Border Policy
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on Earth Day at Green River College in Auburn, Washington, U.S., on Friday, April 22, 2022. Biden signed an Earth Day executive order designed to safeguard old-growth forests that have come under threat from wildfires and drought. Photographer: David Ryder/Bloomberg
David Ryder/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge has barred the Biden administration from ending a Trump-era public health policy that affects immigration which is scheduled to lapse in late May.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced Monday afternoon that a federal judge signed off on a request to issue a temporary restraining order preventing President Joe Biden from lifting Title 42, a Trump-era policy authorizing U.S. Border Patrol to turn away migrants at the border over COVID-19 concerns.

“In a lawsuit originally filed by Missouri, Louisiana, and Arizona, our Office just obtained a temporary restraining order to keep Title 42 in place. This is a huge victory for border security, but the fight continues on,” Schmitt said.

Schmitt joined 20 other state attorneys general last week in a challenge to the Biden administration after it announced plans to scrap Title 42 on May 23.

Judge Robert Summerhays of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana approved the temporary restraining order against the Biden administration.

“The Court discussed the Motion for Temporary Restraining Order [ECF No. 24] filed by Plaintiffs. For the reasons stated on the record, the Court announced its intent to grant the motion. The parties will confer regarding the specific terms to be contained in the Temporary Restraining Order and attempt to reach agreement,” Summerhays wrote, according to CNN.

The decision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to scrap the policy, announced April 1, was met with bipartisan criticism with Democrats and Republicans in Congress calling on the Biden administration to delay scrapping the rule. Critics have charged that lifting the policy before preparations can be made will result in a wave of immigration, putting further pressure on an already strained immigration system.

“Right now, we have a crisis on our southern border. Right now, this administration does not have a plan. I warned them about this months ago,” Arizona Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly said last week. “It’s going to be, to be honest, it’s going to be a crisis on top of a crisis.”

“I heard directly from Border Patrol leadership about operational challenges and discussed with them my concerns about the administration’s intent to lift Title 42 without a comprehensive plan in place. My focus is on ensuring an orderly, humane, and secure border process,” he later added in a social media post.

Kyrsten Sinema, Arizona’s other Democratic U.S. senator, expressed similar concerns in a statement.

“Arizona communities bear the brunt of the federal government’s failure at our border, so we’re stepping in and protecting border communities by ensuring the Administration works hand-in-hand with local leaders, law enforcement, and non-profits to put a comprehensive, workable plan in place before lifting Title 42,” she said.

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