Judge Rules Title 42 Migration Policy Unlawful

November 16, 2022

U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled the Covid-era order Title 42, which has been used to expel hundreds of thousands of migrants to Mexico, was unlawful.

In a 49-page opinion, Sullivan called the policy “arbitrary and capricious” and said it violated federal regulatory law.

Title 42 is a clause from the 1944 public health code that allows the government to take emergency action to stop the “introduction of communicable diseases” into the U.S., but it had been rarely used until the Trump Administration implemented it as an immigration policy when the Covid pandemic struck. The Biden Administration continued its use, expelling migrants roughly 2 million times, although many were repeat border-crossers.

The White House late on Tuesday filed an unopposed motion to delay implementation of Sullivan’s ruling by five weeks in order to move additional resources to the border, and to coordinate with state and local governments and non-profits.

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