‘Serve the public interest’: Judge rules Title 42 must continue

LAFAYETTE, La. – A federal court judge in Louisiana ruled Title 42 will remain in place, despite President Joe Biden’s administration’s plans to end the pandemic-era policy on Monday. Title 42 was set to end Monday, but a lawsuit filed by Louisiana, Missouri, and Arizona blocked the move.

In his ruling, Judge Robert Summerhays agreed with the plaintiffs that terminating Title 42 would likely lead to an increase in daily border crossings, which would lead to overcrowding at detention facilities, as well as increased costs for healthcare and education.

“These costs are not recoverable,” the judge wrote in his ruling, quoting from another lawsuit filed by Texas against the Biden administration.

Title 42 has been in place since March 2020 and has been used as a tool to deal with the surging numbers seen along our southern border. Title 42 is part of the 1944 Public Health Service Act and is designed to stop the spread or introduction of communicable diseases in the United States.

Title 42 was initiated during President Donald Trump’s administration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and used as a means to quickly expel migrants caught crossing the border illegally or those deemed inadmissible to the United States.

Title 42 allows the U.S. to simply turn a migrant around and send them back to the country through which they last transited.

Critics argue this prevents migrants from seeking asylum since they are sent back for health-related reasons and not for immigration violations. However, many conservative lawmakers claim ending Title 42 will lead to even greater numbers along our border, which are already at historic highs.

Without Title 42, our government will have to detain those not from Mexico who are caught crossing the border until arrangements can be made to deport them to their home countries.

Proponents of the program argue the U.S. does not have the detention space to house the number of migrants caught crossing the border, which means many would have to be released into the U.S. while their cases work through an already heavily backlogged immigration court system.

SEE ALSO: Here’s what you need to know about Title 42, the pandemic-era policy that quickly sends migrants to Mexico

About the Authors:

Moriah Ballard joined the KPRC 2 digital team in the fall of 2021. Prior to becoming a digital content producer in Southeast Texas and a Houstonian, Moriah was an award-winning radio host in her hometown of Lorain, Ohio and previously worked as a producer/content creator in Cleveland. Her faith, family, and community are her top passions.

Award winning investigative journalist who joined KPRC 2 in July 2000. Husband and father of the Master of Disaster and Chaos Gremlin. “I don’t drink coffee to wake up, I wake up to drink coffee.”