A federal judge on Wednesday blocked the Biden administration temporarily from ending before May 23 the Trump-era Title 42 policy that expels migrants from U.S. borders to avoid the spread of COVID-19, USA Today reports. U.S. District Judge Robert Summerhays in Louisiana said the order is in effect for 14 days, with a hearing set for May 13. In the order, Summerhays bars the Biden administration from taking some actions. It means the administration can't increase the processing of migrants from Northern Triangle countries — Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador — through Title 8 rather than Title 42. Under Title 8, some migrants may be eligible to seek asylum or other immigration relief, while others could be criminally prosecuted for entering the U.S. illegally.
“The Court further concludes that the Plaintiff States have established a substantial threat of immediate and irreparable injury resulting from the early implementation of Title 42, including unrecoverable costs on healthcare, law enforcement, detention, education, and other services for migrants, and further that the balance of harms and the public interest both favor issuance of a temporary restraining order,” Summerhays wrote. However, the order still allows the administration to grant exemptions to Title 42 on a case-by-base basis. The Centers for Disease Control and Protection announced in April that the policy would be rescinded on May 23, saying it is "no longer necessary" after "considering current public health conditions and an increased availability of tools to fight COVID-19." A lawsuit was filed by 21 Republican-led states after the CDC announced it was ending the policy.