Supreme Court expands Trump-era pandemic immigration rule to allow faster deportations
Migrant asylum seekers from Central America sit next to a vehicle that was stopped by police after crossing the Rio Grande to Eagle Pass, Texas, from Mexico along US Route 90, in Hondo, Texas, USA on June 1, 2022.
Shannon Stapleton | Reuters
The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday to keep in place a controversial Trump-era rule that allows Customs and Border Patrol officials to deport migrants at the U.S. southern border as a public health measure in response to the pandemic.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts temporarily blocked the Biden administration earlier this month from ending the controversial policy, called Title 42.
More than 2 million people have been deported at the southern border under this policy since 2020.
In November, a DC federal district court ordered the Department of Homeland Security to end the policy on December 21, criticizing the evictions as arbitrary. But Republican-led states intervened in the case and successfully petitioned the Supreme Court last week to block that lower court ruling.
The deportation policy originated with the Trump administration. In March 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used a provision of the Public Health Services Act, or Title 42, to bar migrants from traveling to the United States from Mexico or Canada because of the risk that they spread the Covid. The eviction policy is often simply referred to as Title 42.
But human rights groups and dozens of health experts have sharply criticized the policy as a way for the federal government to carry out arbitrary mass evictions at the U.S. southern border under the guise of public health.
The Biden administration continued the policy until April 2022, when the CDC said it was no longer necessary to prevent the spread of Covid. The CDC and DHS had planned for the policy to end in May, but Republican states sued and won a federal court in Louisiana to stop the Biden administration from ending deportations then as well. .
Republicans and some Democrats say ending the policy will lead to a significant increase in migration to the southern border, which communities are not equipped to handle. El Paso, Texas declared a state of emergency on Saturday in response to a recent spike in the number of migrants crossing the border.