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Biden lawyers tell Supreme Court it’s time to end Trump policy at the border

Tuesday, President Biden’s attorneys pleaded with the Supreme Court to reject an emergency appeal from Republican-led states and repeal the COVID-19 policy, which turned away asylum-seeking migrants at the border.

However, in order to give the administration time to get ready for a more thorough screening of migrants at the border, Solicitor General Elizabeth B. Prelogar also asked the Supreme Court to extend the so-called Title 42 border restrictions for an additional week.

On Monday, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. postponed the border restrictions’ Wednesday deadline indefinitely.

The Title 42 policy was implemented by the Trump administration during the COVID-19 pandemic to stop infected people from entering the country. It is based on a long-standing public health emergency law.

According to a federal judge, the policy is no longer justifiable because the health crisis is subsiding. The Republican states filed a lawsuit to keep the restrictions in place after he ordered that they be lifted by Wednesday.

Attorneys for Biden concurred that the COVID-related regulations should no longer be in effect in a document submitted to the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

“The government recognizes that the end of the Title 42 orders will likely lead to disruption and a temporary increase in unlawful border crossings,” Prelogar said. “The government in no way seeks to minimize the seriousness of that problem. But the solution to that immigration problem cannot be to extend indefinitely a public-health measure that all now acknowledge has outlived its public-health justification.”

Agents were permitted to deport migrants without providing them with an asylum hearing under the Trump administration’s policy.

The Biden administration claims that in its place, quick hearings will be conducted to determine which migrants can request asylum based on a credible fear of persecution.

The Supreme Court hasn’t yet decided whether to accept Arizona’s and 18 other GOP-led states’ appeals. They may also decide to hear arguments regarding whether the Trump policy can be reversed.

Conservatives on the court have previously been dubious of the Biden administration’s use of the pandemic to enforce its rules.

The court reversed a housing eviction ban that Biden had maintained as a pandemic measure in a 6-3 decision. The Labor Department rule that would have required big employers to enforce a vaccine mandate was defeated by the same vote by the conservative majority.

Biden’s plan to forgive millions of student loans, which was based on his emergency authority to address the pandemic, was put on hold earlier this month by the court. The legality of the proposed loan forgiveness will be the subject of arguments before the justices in February.

The situation is reversed in the immigration dispute, though. The conservative states argue that Title 42, a pandemic-related health measure, must continue in effect. The Democratic governor is in disagreement.

Two federal judges issued conflicting decisions on Title 42 this year, both of which relied on the Administrative Procedure Act rather than federal immigration law.

Judge Robert Summerhays, a Trump appointee in Louisiana, issued a ruling in May on behalf of more than 20 states with a Republican majority and said the Biden administration could not stop using Title 42. He claimed that doing so would be “arbitrary and capricious” and against the APA because the administration hadn’t requested formal comments beforehand.

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, a Clinton appointee in Washington, ruled in favor of the ACLU and advocates for immigrants’ rights in November and stated that the administration’s continued reliance on Title 42 long after the COVID emergency has passed violates the APA. He claimed that any health advantages are now outweighed by the harm to asylum seekers. Sullivan stipulated that his choice would go into effect on December 21, five weeks from that date.


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