(CNN) — A federal judge in Louisiana prevented for now that the Joe Biden administration ended a Donald Trump administration pandemic restriction, known as Title 42, on the US-Mexico border, thwarting plans to end the controversial public health authority.
Since taking office, the administration of President Joe Biden has continued to rely on Title 42, a public health measure invoked at the start of the coronavirus pandemic that allows border officials to turn away migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. Mexico.
However, in early April, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced plans to rescind the order. The CDC indicated at the time that it is no longer necessary given current public health conditions and the increased availability of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. The policy was scheduled to end this May 23.
But with just days before Title 42 was due to end this month, Judge Robert Summerhays of the Western District Court of Louisiana found that the Biden administration did not follow the correct procedures to end the term and argued that while the administration can invoke an action under emergency conditions, those may not apply with respect to its termination.
“Simply put, CDC has failed to explain how current circumstances prevented CDC from issuing the rescission order through the notice and comment process required under the APA,” Summerhays wrote, referring to the Administrative Procedure Act.
The public health provision, the judge concluded, is not exempt from the notice and comment process, which can potentially take months. The public health authority, which has been fiercely criticized by immigrant advocates, will remain in place for now.
Lee Gelernt, an ACLU attorney leading the Title 42 lawsuits in Washington, called the ruling “wrong.”
“The ruling is incorrect, inconsistent with the considered judgment of the CDC, and should be immediately appealed by the administration. The lawsuit is the height of hypocrisy; the states that put it forward only seem to want COVID restrictions when it comes to asylum seekers,” he said in a statement.
“Despite this court order, a parallel court order in Washington prohibits the use of Title 42 to remove families who would face persecution or torture,” Gelernt added.
CNN has contacted the Justice Department for comment.
The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by Arizona, Louisiana and Missouri in April against the Biden administration’s decision to end Title 42. More than a dozen states, mostly led by the GOP, later joined. on demand.
In the past week, Summerhays heard the arguments of the case in a hearing of more than two hours, focusing largely on his questions about the damage to the states and whether the administration followed proper procedures, noting that the emergency conditions have changed, which could allow outside participation . Summerhays had temporarily prevented the administration from canceling the public health order before the end date.