A last-minute lawsuit by 19 Republican state attorneys general has succeeded in getting the Supreme Court to temporarily stay the end of Title 42 enforcement at the border. Chief Justice John Roberts has accepted the lawyers' arguments about the harm that the massive influx of thousands of immigrants would cause to their states and the country. At this moment, thousands of immigrants are crowding the border with Mexico in an attempt to gain access to the United States, attracted by the imminent end of the measure.
The stay will be maintained while the Supreme Court justices study the appeal filed by Republican prosecutors. In the brief, the attorneys outlined the irreparable harm their states would suffer if Title 42 were terminated, especially at a time when the already year-round influx of immigrants is reaching new heights. In statements to The Washington Post a federal official, who asked not to be identified, estimated that daily arrivals of migrants range from 9,000 to 14,000 a day.
"Reckless and unnecessary."
In a statement announcing the filing of the appeal, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, R-Arizona, noted that "getting rid of Title 42 will recklessly and unnecessarily endanger more Americans and migrants by exacerbating the catastrophe that is occurring at our southern border."
BREAKING: We just filed an emergency stay application, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to keep Title 42 in place.
Getting rid of Title 42 will recklessly endanger more Americans & migrants by exacerbating the catastrophe that is occurring at our border. https://t.co/GIDQXjL8xU
— Mark Brnovich (@GeneralBrnovich) December 19, 2022
In the appeal, the prosecutors emphasize that this is a matter of "huge national importance" The officials argue in the brief that "no one reasonably argues that the border is not being approached en masse by immigrants in anticipation of Wednesday, the date stipulated for the end of the Title 42 mandate. failure to grant a stay will lead to a crisis of unprecedented proportions at the border. The idea that the States will not suffer substantial irreparable harm as a result of the impending catastrophe that a Title 42 termination will cause is therefore fanciful."
Leading Democrats against repeal
Despite the fact that the lawsuit has been filed exclusively by conservative lawyers, there were many voices in the Democratic Party that warned about the risks of the end of the measure. For example, California Governor Gavin Newsom noted last week that the suspension of Title 42 "could break" his state. The mayor of New York, Eric Adams, also expressed his opposition, pointing out that they would have to cut services to their citizens in order to cope with the massive influx of immigrants.
According to estimates by federal authorities, in the event that Title 42 is ultimately eliminated, encounters with immigrants could amount to 18,000 per day. On Monday, the White House, through the press chief, Karine Jean-Pierre, insisted that even if the measure put in place by the Trump Administration came to an end, anti-immigration laws would continue to be enforced and those crossing the border irregularly would be prosecuted and expelled. "It would be a mistake to think that the border is open. It is not open. And I want to be very, very clear about that," Jean-Pierre said.
DHS complies with ruling, but asks for funds
In a statement issued after learning of the Supreme Court's ruling, the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement in which it accepted the ruling, but again called for funds to meet the challenge.
As required by the Supreme Court's administrative stay order, the Title 42 public health order will remain in effect at this time and persons attempting to enter the United States illegally will continue to be removed to Mexico. As this stage of the litigation unfolds, we will continue our preparations to manage the border in a safe, orderly and humane manner when the Title 42 public health order is lifted. We urge Congress to seize this moment to provide the funding we have requested for border security and management and to advance the comprehensive immigration measures that President Biden proposed on his first day in office.
More than 2.4 millions immigrants removed under Title 42
Since the implementation of this measure in 2020, more than 2.4 million immigrants have been immediately removed by border authorities before they could apply for asylum. The rule was put in place during the pandemic, and allows border forces to return illegal border crossers to Mexico. The Biden Administration applied an exception for unaccompanied minors and, also later, opened its hand to families. Since Biden's arrival in the White House in 2021, more than 4 million immigrants have entered the country. In 2022 alone, more than 2.4 million did so.