DHS: Despite Court Ruling on Title 42, ‘The United States Will Continue to Fully Enforce Our Immigration Laws at Our Border’

Melanie Arter | November 16, 2022 | 11:34am EST
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A border patrol agent talks to a group of migrants, mostly from African countries, before processing them after they crossed the US-Mexico border, taken from Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico, on November 11, 2022. (Photo by GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP via Getty Images)
A border patrol agent talks to a group of migrants, mostly from African countries, before processing them after they crossed the US-Mexico border, taken from Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico, on November 11, 2022. (Photo by GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) – A federal judge in D.C. blocked the Biden administration from using Title 42, a Trump-era emergency health order, to expel migrants from the United States.

As CNSNews.com previously reported, the Biden administration had been using Title 42 in recent weeks to stop Venezuelans from entering the United States, announcing through the Department of Homeland Security, "Effective immediately, Venezuelans who enter the United States between ports of entry, without authorization, will be returned to Mexico.”

Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., called the use of Title 42 “arbitrary and capricious,” and a violation of the law because it was not implemented properly, the Texas Tribune reported Tuesday. 

“It is unreasonable for the CDC to assume that it can ignore the consequences of any actions it chooses to take in the pursuit of fulfilling its goals, particularly when those actions included the extraordinary decision to suspend the codified procedural and substantive rights of noncitizens seeking safe harbor,” Sullivan wrote in his opinion.

In response to the court’s ruling, DHS announced Tuesday that “the United States will continue to fully enforce our immigration laws at our border.” The Justice Department “is filing an unopposed stay motion,” DHS said in a statement on its website.

“The delay in implementation of the court’s order will allow the government to prepare for an orderly transition to new policies at the border. But to be clear, under the unopposed motion, Title 42 would remain in place for some period. During the period of this freeze, we will prepare for an orderly transition to new policies at the border,” the statement read.

“We know that smugglers will lie to try to take advantage of vulnerable migrants, putting lives at risk. We continue to work with countries throughout the Western Hemisphere to take enforcement actions against the smuggling networks that entice migrants to take the dangerous and often deadly journey to our land borders and to address the root causes of irregular migration that are challenging our hemisphere as a whole,” DHS added.

Republicans sounded the alarm on what the ruling will mean for Border Patrol agents and for Americans:

“An activist judge legislating from the bench just blocked the usage of Title 42 at the border amid a historic crisis. This means millions of illegal aliens (many dangerous) will be allowed entry into the country. This decision is a grave mistake,” Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) tweeted.

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“Title 42 was just ENDED and a new SURGE of illegals will now head for our southern border. PRAY for our brave Border Patrol agents, it's a SHAME that Biden won't lift a finger to support them. 49 days until we can STOP THE MADNESS in the House Majority!” Rep. Ronnie Jackson (R-Texas) tweeted on Tuesday.

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“Title 42 preserves our nation’s sovereignty. Our country has every right to protect that sovereignty, and we must support policies that put our national security first,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) tweeted.

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Meanwhile, the Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR) applauded the judge’s decision, calling it “a decision that is both correct and necessary for migrant people seeking asylum, but it unfortunately comes a little too late for many people seeking a safe haven in our country.”

“Ending this policy is a step in the right direction, as it certainly restores the guidelines of international asylum law and the rights of detained and expelled migrants in dire need of protection,” Fernando García, executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR), said in a statement Wednesday.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) also praised the ruling, calling Title 42 “a racist policy.”

“Title 42 is a racist policy created by Trump and weaponized against Black and brown migrants. It should have never been implemented and I’m glad it’s coming to an end,” she tweeted.

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