US Supreme Court freezes end of pandemic border restrictions

The Supreme Court of the United States decided this Monday to freeze the end of Title 42, a rule that allowed the expulsion of the majority of migrants who arrive at the border with Mexico, in response to a lawsuit filed by 19 of the 50 states of the country.

The petition had been presented by those 19 states arguing that the lifting of Title 42, scheduled for this December 21, would cause “massive and irreparable damage to the states, in particular those who bear the consequences of irregular immigration”.

Judge John Roberts’ decision is temporary and the parties involved have until Tuesday at 10:00 p.m. to respond to the Supreme Court. When it receives the response, the Supreme Court must decide whether to allow Title 42 to remain standing while the lower courts resolve the case.

A federal court in the District of Columbia had ruled in mid-November ordering the suspension of Title 42, a decision that was appealed by prosecutors from 19 states and by the Joe Biden government.

In their lawsuit before the Supreme Court, prosecutors assumed this Monday that the end of this policy would lead to an increase in border crossings, so that state authorities must “dedicate additional funds to security, education and medical care.”

“The idea that the states will not suffer substantial and irreparable damage as a result of the imminent catastrophe that will cause the end of Title 42 is unreasonable,” they pointed out in the petition later supported by the Supreme Court.

Title 42 entered into force in March 2020, under the term of Republican Donald Trump (2017-2021), and during this time has allowed the expedited expulsion of more than 2.7 million migrants, the majority from the border with Mexico.

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After its lifting, Title 8 was expected to be applied, which allows migrants to request asylum at the ports of entry and gives the Government the power to deport and even impose penalties on those who do not meet the requirements and are considered inadmissible.

The Biden Administration’s decision to maintain Title 42 had been widely criticized by human rights organizations, which describe it as illegal since it prevents the vast majority of people who want to apply for asylum at the border from doing so.

“The fight to maintain Title 42 continues. I will do everything I can in court to ensure our border is secure,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, one of those who filed the lawsuit, said on Twitter Monday.

In Texas, the city of El Paso, bordering Ciudad Juárez in Mexico, had declared a state of emergency this Saturday in order to use more resources and create more shelters to house the thousands of people who have arrived there in recent weeks due to the imminent planned suspension of that regulation. EFE

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