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WASHINGTON, May 20, 2022—The A federal judge in Louisiana today blocked the Biden administration’s plans to end Title 42, a public health policy that has allowed the U.S. government to turn people away at the U.S southern border since the start of the pandemic.

Under Title 42—which was set to expire by May 23—many asylum seekers have been sent back to Mexico, where they fell victim to criminal cartels and other bad actors. 

The following statement is from Jeremy Robbins, executive director of the American Immigration Council:

“Today’s court decision to block the end of Title 42 will cause immeasurable harm to thousands of vulnerable people seeking protection in the United States and forces the Biden administration to maintain a counterproductive policy that has caused chaos along our southern border. Rather than using public health laws to turn asylum seekers away, the United States should be working to rebuild a humanitarian protection system at the border that is safe, humane, orderly, and that can respond in times of global displacement.

“As much as we condemn the decision, we also acknowledge that it means Title 42 will remain in place at the border for now. That will give the Department of Homeland Security more than enough time to prepare for the eventual end of Title 42 and surge resources to the ports of entry to facilitate the processing of arriving asylum seekers. Now Congress must resist demands to legislate on the use of Title 42 in years to come.”