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High Court Sets Title 42 Case Aside

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to cancel planned oral arguments over the federal immigration policy known as Title 42 appears to signal that the Biden administration will be able to end a practice that was used more than 2 million times to expel migrants, Politico reports. Earlier this month, the White House declared the Covid-19 and national public health emergencies would come to an end on May 11. In a statement to Congress, the administration noted that the continual renewal of Title 42 orders — which have allowed the government for the past three years to turn away migrants without listening to their asylum claims — would come to an end, too.

Justice Department lawyers had urged the high court to sideline a case that had blocked the administration's plans up to now, arguing that by ending the official public health emergency for covid — the grounds for invoking Title 42 in the first place — made the court challenge moot. After conflicting court rulings from federal district court judges in Washington, D.C. and Louisiana, a sharply divided Supreme Court stepped in last December, staying an order requiring the Biden administration to end Title 42. By a 5-4 vote, the justices put the D.C.-based judge’s order on hold and appeared to defer to the Louisiana-based judge’s order that blocked a wind-down of the policy. However, the high court insisted at the time that it was not requiring that the controversial immigration policy be kept in place. “The stay itself does not prevent the federal government from taking any action with respect to that policy,” the court said then. The Biden administration has invoked policies meant to replace the Title 42 health-emergency order, which was a Trump administration initiative. In January, Biden unveiled a new border measure that involved accepting 30,000 migrants a month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela while cracking down on those who fail to use the plan’s legal pathways. The number of migrants and asylum seekers attempting to cross the border has dropped by 40 percent since December, which administration officials credit to the new policies.


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