Three Republican-led states Monday announced they have filed a suit to prevent the Biden administration from lifting the Trump-era, public health order known as Title 42 to has allow to keep illegal migrants and others out of the U.S. during the pandemic.
Attorneys general in Arizona, Louisiana, and Missouri filed the suit in U.S. District Court Western District of Louisiana Lafayette Division.
President Trump activated the 1940s law near the start of the pandemic as the related COVID-19 death toll soared, citing its authority to keep out people who might bring in and spread the virus.
While many have expected the law would eventually have to be deactivated, as case numbers drop, they also argue the administration still has no comprehensive plan to address the expected, resulting surge of migrants at the border.
“This suit challenges an imminent, man-made, self-inflicted calamity: the abrupt elimination of the only safety valve preventing this administration’s disastrous border policies from devolving into an unmitigated catastrophe,” reads the suit.
The attorneys general argue in the suit – whose plaintiffs include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – that the termination of the order will result in a number of higher costs for the states, including higher health care costs for illegal migrants infected with COVID-19 and “the presence of much greater numbers of paroled aliens with non-meritorious asylum claims … .”
Biden has been under pressure from his Democrat Party to end Title 42 enforcement, particularly its most liberal wing.
“While it’s difficult to identify President Biden’s most irresponsible move since taking office, rescinding Title 42 is certainly up there,” said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “It’s a ridiculously poor decision with a bad intention for border states and American communities across the country. This administration’s reckless pandering to the far Left.”
Last week, the Biden administration announced it would be ending the application of Title 42 on May 23.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas claims that his agency has established a “comprehensive, whole-of-government strategy to manage any potential increase in the number of migrants encountered at our border.”
He says the agency is in part increasing its capacity to process new arrivals, evaluate asylum requests and quickly remove those who do not qualify for protection.
Mayorkas also said the agency will increase personnel and resources as needed and has already redeployed over 600 law enforcement officers to the border.
“Over the next two months, we are putting in place additional, appropriate COVID-19 protocols, including ramping up our [COVID-19] vaccination program,” he also said.