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AG Derek Schmidt asks court to block Biden administration from lifting Title 42 public health policy

Release Date: Apr 14, 2022

TOPEKA – (April 14, 2022) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today asked a federal court to block the Biden administration from rescinding the Title 42 public health policy regarding the southern border of the United States to prevent exacerbation of an already failed immigration enforcement program.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced April 1 that it was rescinding Title 42, which has allowed border officials to turn away migrants because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The policy was put in place in March 2020 and has been used by the Trump and Biden administrations to turn away thousands of migrants to try and keep communicable diseases out of the United States.

Schmidt joined 19 states in filing an amended complaint and request for an injunction in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, asking the court to keep the policy in place. The attorneys general argue that rescinding the policy violates the Administrative Procedure Act, as it is arbitrary and capricious, and the Biden administration did not conduct the statutory required notice and comment process.

“The Plaintiff States seek this Court’s intervention to forestall an imminent calamity: Defendants’ attempt to terminate the Title 42 system, which is the only safety valve preventing this Administration’s already disastrous border control policies from descending into an unmitigated catastrophe,” the attorneys general wrote. “Indeed, it is estimated that half a million migrants will illegally cross into the United States in the first month that the challenged order … goes into effect. The Administration has presented no possible way it can to identify, quarantine, treat, or mitigate communicable disease risk given the flood of border crossings it predicts. If not enjoined, the Termination Order will inflict devastating injuries upon the Plaintiff States and the entire nation.”

The attorneys general also note that even some of the administration’s most ardent supporters have come out in opposition to ending Title 42, including several Democratic senators.

Schmidt said that states face the brunt of the consequences of the administration’s failed border security policies, including increased health care costs treating those with COVID-19 and other illnesses.

A copy of the amended complaint in State of Arizona, et al v Biden is available at https://bit.ly/3rqUOce.

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