President Joe Biden’s U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) asked the U.S. Supreme Court for more time to phase out the Title 42 immigration policy that makes it easier for the federal government to return border crossers to their native countries.
The DOJ’s request comes after Chief Justice John Roberts halted a lower court’s decision that ordered the Biden administration to wind down Title 42 by December 21. So now, the DOJ is asking for more time to wind down the program.
As Politico reported:
In Tuesday’s Supreme Court filing, the Justice Department conceded that the administration expected a temporary increase in border crossings, while asking that justices keep Title 42 in place at least until the end of the day on Dec. 27. And if the Supreme Court doesn’t reach a decision until Dec. 23 or later, the administration is asking for two business days to implement new policies.
Roberts’ order came after a coalition of 19 Republican-led states filed an emergency application urging the Court to keep Title 42 in place. Title 42 is a Trump-era immigration policy that has been in effect since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
An estimated 2.5 million migrants have been turned back at the nation’s southern border due to the policy.
In the weeks leading up to Title 42’s initial end date, roughly 14,000 migrants were reportedly waiting in Tijuana to rush the southern border and enter the United States once the policy ended.
The GOP-led states argued that ending Title 42 would cause them “irreparable harm” and impose financial burdens by hosting the migrants.
U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar, in Tuesday’s court filing, recognized that ending Title 42 would “likely lead to a temporary increase in border crossings,” but said the administration is prepared to adopt “new policies to respond to the temporary disruption that will occur whenever the Title 42 orders end.”
“If applicants are dissatisfied with the immigration system Congress has prescribed in Title 8, their remedy is to ask Congress to change the law — not to ask this Court to compel the government to continue relying on an extraordinary and now obsolete public-health measure as de facto immigration policy,” Prelogar wrote.
The case is Arizona v. Mayorkas, No. 22A544 in the Supreme Court of the United States.