Fifteen red states asked a federal judge Monday night to uphold a Covid-era policy that allowed authorities to severely restrict asylum seekers from crossing the border into the country after the judge issued a ruling last week. last week that blocked the rule.
The GOP claims that lifting the rule, which the Biden administrator has directly sought to end, will increase the flow of migrants and “directly harm them.”
“Because the invalidation of Title 42 Orders will directly harm States, they now seek to intervene to offer a defense of Title 42 policy so that its validity can be resolved on the merits, rather than through strategic surrender,” the states said in their filing Monday.
They argue that an increase in migrant flows to the border “will impose financial burdens on states that involuntarily host them” and that states themselves are “entitled to special solitude in permanent scrutiny.”
“States have sovereign and quasi-sovereign interests in controlling their borders, limiting persons present within those borders, excluding persons with communicable diseases, and immigration enforcement,” the filing says.
Last week, US District Judge Emmet Sullivan struck down the controversial rule, known as Title 42, that US Customs and Border Protection used to turn immigrants back at the border before they could submit applications for asylum. Sullivan sided with the American Civil Liberties Union and other immigration advocates, who argue the rule was being used as a border enforcement tool rather than a public health measure.
Sullivan cited the Administrative Procedures Act in his ruling and characterized Title 42 as “arbitrary and capricious.” The Biden administration indicated it will not oppose Sullivan’s order in a court filing last week, but has requested a temporary delay in lifting Title 42.
The Department of Homeland Security requested five weeks “to prepare for the transition” to process all migrants under pre-Covid policies, allowing them to cross the southern border to apply for asylum. At his order, Sullivan agreed to the request with “great reluctance.” Title 42 will end on December 20 and will go into effect at midnight on December 21.
“To be clear…Title 42 would remain in effect for some time. During the period of this freeze, we will prepare for an orderly transition to new border policies,” DHS said in a statement last week.
Sullivan’s ruling last week came months after a federal judge in Louisiana ruled in favor of an attempt by the same 15 states: Arizona, Louisiana, Alabama, Alaska, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma , South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming: To keep the policy in effect.
The ACLU’s Lee Gelernt, lead counsel for the plaintiffs seeking to lift Title 42, pushed back against the Red states seeking to uphold the rule in a statement to NBC News.
“Title 42 is not about general border enforcement but about public health, and these states cannot plausibly claim that they are seeking to intervene because of their COVID concerns,” Gelernt said.
In April, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas formally announced that the agency would end Title 42 on May 23 and allow families and single adults who had been rejected at the border to enter the US. . in poor condition and camps in northern Mexico after being turned away from the crossing.
The Biden administration has faced bipartisan pushback over its handling of Title 42. Republicans have widely opposed ending the policy, and some centrist Democrats expressed skepticism about whether the administration is prepared for an increase in asylum seekers.