Biden’s Termination of Immigration Barrier Draws GOP Lawsuit (1)

  • Three states file suit over end of immigration policy change
  • Administration prepares for program to end by late May

(Adds White House response in seventh paragraph.)

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Republican-led states are taking the Biden administration to court over its plans to end a pandemic-related restriction on border crossings.

Arizona, Louisiana, and Missouri filed suit Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, accusing officials of ending the the Trump-era policy known as Title 42 without public input. The case is the latest in a string of state-led litigation challenging the Biden administration’s immigration policies; several previous suits have been successful.

Title 42 is a public health authority invoked at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic that allows U.S. officials to immediately expel many asylum-seekers and other migrants at the border. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week announced it would terminate the use of Title 42 at the border by May 23.

CDC to End Trump Rule Used to Expel Migrants During Pandemic

Photo: Nicolo Filippo Rosso/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Migrants seeking asylum wait to be taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers near the U.S. and Mexico border fence in Yuma, Ariz., on Feb. 21, 2022.

Republicans and a handful of Democrats criticized the move, saying it would spark an overwhelming uptick of border crossings. The Department of Homeland Security said it’s working to set up new facilities and speed up processing ahead of an anticipated increase.

“We are doing everything we can to prepare for this increase, ensure we continue to process people humanely, and impose consequences on those who break the law,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus said in a statement Monday.

The states’ lawsuit says the decision violates the Administrative Procedure Act because the CDC didn’t seek public comment and took an “arbitrary and capricious” action.

A White House spokesperson said the administration would closely coordinate with border communities on migrant processing. The CDC declined to comment on the lawsuit and DHS didn’t immediately respond to a request.

The case is Louisiana v. CDC, W.D. La., No. 6:22-00885, 4/4/22.

With assistance from Jordan Fabian

To contact the reporter on this story: Ellen M. Gilmer in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Sarah Babbage at; Anna Yukhananov at

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