Supreme Court Stops Biden From Lifting Trump-Era Title 42 Border Policy—For Now


Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts issued an order Monday temporarily blocking the end of the Title 42 border policy allowing for the swift expulsion of asylum seekers from the U.S., delivering a win for conservatives who argue lifting the policy will lead to migrants flooding an already overwhelmed southern border.

Key Facts

Roberts gave the Biden Administration until 5 p.m. Tuesday to issue a response, ahead of Wednesday’s scheduled expiration of the policy.

A federal district court judge struck down Title 42 last month, calling it an “arbitrary and capricious” rule that violates federal law.

The attorneys general of 19 Republican states sued to keep Title 42 in place, arguing that lifting it will “cause a crisis of unprecedented proportions at the border,” and appealed to the Supreme Court after a circuit court tossed their case Friday.

Roberts did not rule on the merits of the case Monday.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes.

What To Watch For

How the Biden Administration will respond, since federal authorities have heavily relied on Title 42 for immigration control despite the president’s official opposition to the policy. The White House is working on plans to come up with a new policy to deter rampant immigration for when Title 42 ends that may incentivize asylum seekers to apply for entry to the U.S. in order to discourage border crossings, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Key Background

The CDC officially enacted Title 42 in March 2020 to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, but the Trump Administration kept the policy in place even after ending essentially all other major Covid restrictions. Critics slammed the decision as hypocritical, claiming the Trump White House kept Title 42 in place solely to kick out asylum seekers, arguing Covid had nothing to do with the measure. President Joe Biden promised during his 2020 campaign he would end Title 42, and the White House in April announced plans to end it. Even so, border authorities have not let up on enforcing Title 42 as they combat a historic surge of migration. The Border Patrol in October reported 2.4 million arrests were made along the border in the past year—setting a new record. Title 42 allows authorities to expel most asylum seekers entering the U.S. within hours of getting to American soil.

Further Reading

Judge Ends Trump-Era Title 42 Policy Used To Expel Migrants (Forbes)

Biden Preparing For Record Levels Of Migrants At Southern Border—Here’s Why (Forbes)