DHS to comply with federal court order to stop Title 42

DHS to comply with federal court order to stop Title 42

The Department of Homeland Security plans to comply with a federal court order to stop a plan to lift the Covid-era public health order known as Title 42, senior administration officials told reporters on Tuesday.

On Monday, Judge Robert Summerhays of the Western District of Louisiana said he planned to issue a temporary restraining order that would keep the Biden administration from winding city Title 42 prior to its intended lifting date of May 23. Judge Summerhays, appointed by President Donald Trump, may later rule on a preliminary injunction requested by 21 states, the majority of which are led by Republican governors, that would pause the lifting of Title 42 on May 23.

One of the officials who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity said: "We will comply with the court order, but we really disagree with the basic premise." After Title 42 was lifted, the DHS would ramp up fast deportations of migrants and that the court order would delay plans to do so.

The officials told reporters ahead of Congressional testimony by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Wednesday, where he was facing pressure over the decision to lift Title 42, even though Democrats are warning it will result in an overwhelming surge of border crossings by undocumented immigrants.

According to internal customs and border protection data obtained by NBC News, a total of nearly 8,000 migrants are currently crossing the southern border, which could lead April to top March's record high for border apprehensions. The Biden administration predicts that around 12,000 migrants per day will begin crossing the border when Title 42 is lifted. Around half of the migrants encountered are turned back across the border and prevented from seeking asylum. If Title 42 is lifted, immigrants will be allowed to live in the United States while they pursue asylum claims, a process that can take between two and four years.

The Biden administration plans to deport more migrants who don't pass the initial screening for asylum, and is working with countries in the region to accept flights returning their citizens.

One country that has refused to accept back its emigrants is Cuba. A senior administration official told reporters on Tuesday that talks between the US and Cuba over immigration policy are ongoing and off to a good start. Prior to the flu, families from El Salvador, Guatemala and El Salvador made up the majority of border crossingers. Officials said they were not considering bringing back the practice of detaining migrants with their children, a tool used by both the Obama and Trump administrations to deter family migration.