Apr 22, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Texas sues to block Biden administration from repealing Title 42 policy

Photo of Joe Biden speaking with his right hand raised in front of him against the backdrop of cherry blossom trees
President Biden speaks on Earth Day at Seward Park in Seattle, Washington on April 22, 2022. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit Friday to block the Biden administration from repealing the Trump-era Title 42 policy.

Why it matters: The pandemic-driven policy, which allows federal officials to turn back migrants at the border without the chance to seek asylum, is set to end May 23.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) pointed to the decreased risk that migrants would contract or spread COVID-19 in detention facilities, but Republicans argue a repeal would lead to an influx of migrants that would add to already-historic border numbers.

What they're saying: "The Biden Administration’s disastrous open border policies and its confusing and haphazard COVID-19 response have combined to create a humanitarian and public safety crisis on our southern border," the lawsuit states.

  • One "stark inconsistency is DHS’s wholesale termination of the Title 42 program while maintaining a masking regime for intra-U.S. transportation and a proof-of-immunity regime for lawful international travelers," it adds.
  • "Texas will face increased healthcare costs due to the increased presence of illegal aliens with COVID-19 who otherwise would have been excluded from the country under Title 42, and it has relied on the Title 42 program in planning for the COVID-19 related costs it should expect to incur."

The big picture: President Biden's inner circle has been discussing delaying the repeal, hoping to buy more time to avoid a surge in migrants.

Worth noting: Three in 10 immigrants in U.S. detention centers refuse the COVID-19 vaccine.

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