Supreme Court temporarily pauses order meant to end Title 42

Immigrants cross the Rio Grande into El Paso, Texas
(Image credit: John Moore / Staff/Getty Images)

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts issued a brief order on Monday temporarily blocking the termination of the pandemic-era Title 42 immigration policy that is scheduled to end on December 21, CNN reports. Roberts' order came in response to an appeal from a group of Republican-led states who are challenging the plan to end the rule.

The temporary block means the Trump-era policy under which U.S. border officials can quickly expel migrants in the name of public health will remain in place until the justices rule on the emergency appeal. Last month, a federal district court judge ruled to eliminate the policy, deeming it "arbitrary and capricious."

Representatives of the Republican states fighting to keep the policy in place filed a last-minute emergency appeal to the Supreme Court after a lower court on Friday upheld the original ruling, per CNN. In his brief one-page order, Roberts asked for a response from the Biden administration by 5 p.m. ET Tuesday, indicating that the court wants to act quickly.

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Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, the lead representative for the GOP states, said in a statement that "getting rid of Title 42 will recklessly and needlessly endanger more Americans and migrants by exacerbating the catastrophe that is occurring at our southern border."

In response to Robert's order, the Department of Homeland Security said Title 42 will remain intact, and "individuals who attempt to enter the United States unlawfully will continue to be expelled to Mexico." The department added: "While this stage of the litigation proceeds, we will continue our preparations to manage the border in a safe, orderly, and humane way when the Title 42 public health order lifts."

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