Supreme Court keeps Title 42 border expulsions in place indefinitely

The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed U.S. border officials to continue expelling migrants under a policy known as Title 42 indefinitely, granting a petition from Republican-led states to prevent the Biden administration from immediately ending the pandemic-related measure.

The high court decided to hear a request from 19 Republican-led states who were seeking for the court to intervene in a case over Title 42’s legality. The justices are set to hear the case during the February 2023 argument session.

In the meantime, the Supreme Court agreed to suspend a lower court order that had invalidated the expulsion policy. That means Title 42 will likely remain in place for several months.

First invoked in March 2020, at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Title 42 is a public health law that federal border officials have cited to expel migrants 2.5 million times to Mexico or their home country, without allowing to request asylum, a right enshrined in U.S. and international refugee law.

Top officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under both Presidents Trump and Biden have insisted that Title 42 was designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus by limiting the entry of migrants. But the policy’s public health rationale has been contested by outside experts and the CDC’s own scientists.

This is a breaking news story that will be updated.