Texas sues to block Biden administration from repealing Title 42 policy
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.
- Some House and Senate Democrats have publicly — and loudly — questioned if the administration has an adequate plan to process the expected influx, Axios' Stef Kight reports.
- Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has also conceded there are significant challenges with lifting Title 42.
Worth noting: Three in 10 immigrants in U.S. detention centers refuse the COVID-19 vaccine.