Joe Biden Admits Defeat on Title 42 (for Now): ‘What the Court Says, We’re Going to Do’

President Joe Biden arrives back at the White House after attending the funeral service for former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright at the Washington National Cathedral, Wednesday, April 27, 2022, in Washington.
Andrew Harnik/AP

President Joe Biden admitted defeat Thursday in his effort to lift Title 42 border protections, citing a judicial decision.

“We had proposed to eliminate that policy by the end of May,” Biden said, referring to his administration’s scheduled decision to lift it on May 23.

But a federal judge in Louisiana announced on Monday that he would issue a temporary restraining order, after Missouri, Louisiana, and Arizona filed a lawsuit challenging the decision, which prevents Biden from lifting Title 42 for about four weeks, during which time the judge could convert it into a preliminary injunction that would last through the inevitable appeals.

Biden said he would follow the court ruling, even though it is likely his administration will file an appeal to the decision.

“The court has said we can’t so far, and what the court says, we’re going to do,” he said. “And that’s it.”

Title 42, enacted during the Trump administration, invokes the authority of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to return illegal aliens immediately back from the border to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The Biden administration, however, announced their intention to lift the restrictions, arguing it was no longer needed as a public health measure.

Biden officials concede that up to 500,000 border crossers a month could seek entry into the United States if Title 42 is lifted, which would possibly double the number of already record levels of migrants crossing into the United States under President Biden’s administration.

The temporary restraining order from the Louisiana judge, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, lasts for only about four weeks until the court can write a preliminary injunction if it chooses to do so.

The Justice Department will likely appeal an injunction, but it will take time, leaving Title 42 in place for at least another year, according to experts.



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