Updated Dec 8, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Biden administration to appeal ruling blocking Title 42 immigration policy

Immigrants register with authorities after being permitted to seek political asylum on Dec. 2, 2022 in Brownsville, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The Biden administration is appealing a federal judge's ruling that blocks the government from expelling migrants at the southern U.S. border without the chance for asylum under the Title 42 policy.

Driving the news: In a notice of an appeal filed Wednesday, the Department of Justice argued that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Title 42 orders were lawful and valid, and that the court "erred in vacating those agency actions."

  • The Department of Homeland Security still expects Title 42 to lift on Dec. 21 per the earlier ruling, a Biden administration official told Axios, and the appeal is not an attempt to keep the controversial authority in place.
  • "The CDC made a science-based determination that Title 42 is no longer necessary," the official said.
  • The DOJ plans to ask an appeals court to rule that the "CDC was within its legal authority make such a determination – independent of any political influence," the official added.

Catch up quick: District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan granted a request from the DOJ last month for a five-week delay before ending the use of Title 42.

  • The stay is in effect from Nov. 15 to Dec. 20.

The big picture: The federal government has used the policy, implemented as a public health initiative in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to block an unprecedented wave of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.

  • The Biden administration said it would end the Trump-era policy policy earlier this year, but a federal judge in a separate case blocked its termination after a group of two dozen Republican-led states sought intervention.

Go deeper: Biden administration eyes border overhaul as Title 42 ends

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional reporting.

Go deeper