The White House referred POLITICO to a statement from the Department of Homeland Security, which said the Justice Department filed an unopposed motion for a stay Tuesday night, asking for a five-week delay before it must lift Title 42. The plaintiffs accepted the request, but it will ultimately be up to the judge to decide whether or not to grant the stay.
“The delay in implementing the court order will allow the government to prepare for an orderly transition to new border policies. But to be clear, under the unopposed motion, Title 42 would remain in place for a period of time. During the time of this freeze, we will prepare for an orderly transition to new border policies,” the DHS statement read.
Pandemic health order linked to longstanding quarantine powers dating back to 1940s was implemented under the Trump administration, but the Biden administration has continued to expand the policy, most recently using it to deport Venezuelan migrants crossing the border illegally under its new humanitarian parole program for them.
Both administrations appear to have relied on the health authority to limit the flow of migrants for reasons having little to do with the spread of disease. However, in May this year, the Biden administration was set to lift the restrictions, only to be blocked by a Louisiana-based federal judge acting in a lawsuit brought by 24 Republican-led states.
U.S. District Judge Robert R. Summerhays, appointed by former President Donald Trump, blocked the Biden administration’s decision to lift Title 42, a decision that the Justice Department has appealed.
As POLITICO reported this spring, Summerhays’ decision was met with a sigh of relief inside the White House. The southern border continues to be a challenge for the Biden administration as concerns remain about the country’s immigration system and its ability to handle the influx of migrants as Title 42 ends.
But the policy’s continued use has been a point of tension between the White House and immigrant advocates, who have accused the Biden administration of continuing to use Trump’s playbook.
During the 2020 campaign, President Joe Biden has vowed to build a “fair and humane” immigration system, promising to end Trump-era deportation policies such as Title 42.