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Judge orders U.S. to stop expelling migrants under Title 42 public health law


A person stands next to the U.S.-Mexico border barrier painted with a mural depicting people who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children and were deported as adults on July 22, 2021 in Tijuana, Mexico.

Mario Tama | Getty Images

A federal judge Thursday blocked the Biden administration from exercising a Trump-era policy that allows the U.S. to quickly expel migrants without giving them the chance to apply for asylum.

This provision, also known as Title 42 in U.S. law on health, was implemented for the first time around the outbreak of coronavirus. Critics accused the Trump administration of using it as a pretext to effectively shutter the nation’s borders.

The Biden administration, however, renewed the policy last month, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the measure would stay in effect until the risk of people who aren’t U.S. citizens introducing Covid by crossing the borders with Mexico and Canada “has ceased to be a serious danger to the public health.”

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But Washington-based U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan on Thursday granted a preliminary injunction halting the policy, saying the plaintiffs in the case challenging the law have “shown a likelihood of suffering irreparable harm.”

The order of Sullivan will take effect within 14 days to allow the federal government to review an appeal.

CNBC reached out to the White House for comments on this ruling but they did not respond immediately.

“President Biden should have ended this cruel and lawless policy long ago, and the court was correct to reject it today,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, in a press release.