Federal judge blocks Trump-era Title 42 immigration policy

A federal judge has blocked former President Trump’s Title 42 policy, handing the Biden administration a key legal victory that could dramatically exacerbate the crisis at the southern border.

U.S. Judge Emmet Sullivan called the policy, which allows migrants to be quickly expelled without claiming asylum, “arbitrary and capricious.”

Judge blocks Title 42

Some may remember Sullivan as the judge who oversaw the politically contentious Michael Flynn case. In his order Tuesday, he said Title 42 violated the Administrative Procedures Act.

“Particularly in view of the harm Plaintiffs face if summarily expelled to countries they may be persecuted or tortured, the Court therefore vacated the Title 42 policy,” said Sullivan, a President Clinton appointee.

Trump enacted Title 42 at the height of the COVID pandemic as a public health order. The Biden administration moved to scrap it earlier this year, despite concerns that ending the policy would aggravate an already unsustainable crisis at the border.

A different federal judge had blocked Biden from ending the policy after a group of Republican states sued.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) called Title 42 “one of the last remaining barriers to complete anarchy at the border” and warned that a failure to appeal Sullivan’s decision by the Biden administration would prove “the crisis is deliberate and something they never intend to fix.”

Biden’s open border

Under Biden’s open border regime, illegal immigration has repeatedly set records, with more than 2 million arrests recorded at the border in 2022.

In the meanwhile, Sullivan granted a request “with great reluctance” to let the Biden administration keep Title 42 in effect until December 20. Biden has been using Title 42 to deport illegal aliens despite fighting to end the policy.

The Department of Homeland Security said the delay would allow the government to “continue to manage the border in a safe, orderly, and humane way.”

In a dramatic escalation in a conflict between Republican-led border states and Washington, Texas governor Greg Abbott invoked the Constitution’s invasion clauses on Tuesday.

Abbott slammed Sullivan’s Title 42 decision, saying it “will further signal to cartels, human smugglers, & illegal immigrants that the border is wide open—inciting more violence & lawlessness.”