A group of states with Republican attorneys general launched legal moves Monday to continue draconian border restrictions found unconstitutional by a U.S. court. The policy permits the government to remove hundreds of thousands of migrants.
Fifteen states urged U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan to allow them to sue over Title 42, which has been in force since the COVID-19 epidemic began in March 2020.
Title 42 was first enacted by former Republican President Donald Trump and maintained by Democratic President Joe Biden. It lets U.S. officials quickly send migrants who are detained at the U.S.-Mexico border back to Mexico or other countries without giving them the chance to ask for asylum in the U.S.
The states’ move sets up a lengthy judicial struggle that threatens the policy’s viability.
Republicans argue that repealing Title 42 would result in even more border crossers since Biden took office in 2021.
The Biden administration aims to administer the border without Sullivan’s directive. Asylum-seeking families sued the U.S. government, saying those deported to Mexico suffer harm.
In their request to step in, the states said that border states like Arizona and Texas will see “greater flows” of migrants, which will put “financial obligations” on the states that choose to take them in.
If Sullivan allows states to intervene, they may file an appeal in the DC Circuit against his decision to invalidate the program. The states might possibly appeal to the conservative-majority Supreme Court.