As Karen pointed out earlier today, the fate of Title 42 has been put in the hands of a judge who had promised to issue a ruling by Monday. This afternoon the judge released that ruling. It says the Biden administration may not end Title 42 as planned on Monday.
A federal judge on Friday temporarily blocked the Biden administration from ending the Title 42 public health order on May 23 — stopping the administration from a move that had seen significant Republican and Democratic opposition amid fears it would exacerbate the border crisis.
Judge Robert Summerhays, in the Western District of Louisiana, granted a preliminary injunction on the Biden administration’s plan to end the order on May 23. It was in response to a lawsuit by two dozen Republican states, led by Arizona, Louisiana and Missouri…
Summerhays, in his order, said that the record supports the states’ position “that the Termination Order will result in increased border crossings and that, based on the government’s estimates, the increase may be as high as three-fold.” He also agreed with states that lifting Title 42 will increase costs on healthcare and education – and said the government did not dispute that claim.
“In sum, the Plaintiff States have demonstrated that the Termination Order will affect their ‘quasi-sovereign’ interests based on its impact on their healthcare systems and their interest in the health and welfare of their citizens,” he said.
While this is technically a loss for the Biden administration, it’s likely some people within the administration are breathing a sign of relief. The administration had predicted as many as 18,000 migrants per day could cross the border once Title 42 was lifted. That’s a number that would have quickly overwhelmed CBP resources.
“The Biden administration is probably breathing a sigh of relief because they weren’t ready for the rule to be lifted, ” said Wayne Cornelius, director emeritus of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego.
It wasn’t just Republicans opposing this. A number of Democratic Senators had also come out against lifting Title 42. Sec. Mayorkas has claimed that he has plans to deal with the expected influx. He claimed that just because Title 42 was ending that did not mean the border was open. But the Washington Examiner looked at the numbers today:
Just look at the latest “status report” filed by DHS under federal court order as part of litigation with Texas over Biden’s decision to end the Remain in Mexico policy. According to DHS data filed with the court, the use of Title 42 to expel migrants fell from 109,549 in March to 96,908 in April, despite an increase in the overall number of migrants from 221,303 to 234,088 . Meanwhile, the use of Title 8 to process migrants rose from 111,754 in March to 137,180 in April. In other words, DHS has been phasing out the use of Title 42 in favor of Title 8, which was Mayorkas’s plan all along…
So, what will border enforcement look like when Title 42 is completely phased out? Here are the numbers from April: Of the 137,180 migrants arrested and processed through Title 8, just 16,340 were denied entry into the United States. The rest were either immediately released into the U.S., free to go wherever they want (117,989), or detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to be released at a later date.
In other words, almost all of the migrants apprehended under Title 8 wind up in the US while their cases become part of a huge backlog of immigration proceedings that could take several years to process.
…the backlog of cases has ballooned to over 1.7 million, according to Syracuse University TRAC.
That backlog has seen some migrants waiting five years for a court hearing. The 1.7 million figure is not strictly border-related and includes migrants from more than 200 countries.
By the time those proceedings end it’s likely few of the people who’ve been living here that long will ever be removed unless they commit a violent crime. Migrants know this and know that their chances of being in the US forever are pretty once Title 42 ends. That makes it likely the number of people traveling to the border will keep going up. Now that a judge has blocked the lifting of Title 42, the Biden administration may get a brief respite from the consequences of their own policies.
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