A US federal judge ruled Tuesday that the government could not use public health rules to block the entry of asylum-seeking migrants, marking the apparent end of a controversial Donald Trump-era policy that has been criticized as cruel and ineffective, IgbereTV reports
Judge Emmet Sullivan said Title 42, which has been used to expel hundreds of thousands of people since being invoked in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, was an “arbitrary and capricious” policy that violated government procedures.
The Department of Homeland Security filed a stay motion asking that Tuesday’s decision be suspended for five weeks, but stressed it was doing so as a transitional measure.
“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,” a statement said.
“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 stay, until midnight on December 21, would give the government time to put in place tools to stem the flow of migrants at the southern border with Mexico, most of whom ask for asylum.
The ballooning numbers at the border — more than 200,000 have been interdicted each month this year — is an increasing political headache for President Joe Biden and his Democratic Party, who the Republicans have repeatedly sought to paint as soft on illegal immigration.
Before the ruling, newly re-elected Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican immigration hardliner, took to Twitter to say that he was deploying the national guard and gunboats to turn back migrants