On November 16th, a federal judge ruled the U.S. Customs and Border patrol had five weeks to transition out of the Title 42 public health policy that is currently being used to control the influx of migrants crossing the U.S. border from Mexico. Originally enacted in 2020 as a measure to curb the likelihood of foreign persons illegally entering the United States and spreading Covid-19, the policy has been used throughout the Biden presidency to handle the unprecedented number of migrants seeking refuge in the U.S. In the 2022 fiscal year, U.S. Border Patrol officials logged a record 2.4 million migrant stops at southern border crossings, and expelled over one million of those stopped migrants back to Mexico under Title 42 policy.
In his 49-page opinion on the Title 42 matter, US District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan found that the continued use of Title 42 policy was sufficiently arbitrary and capricious to violate federal administrative law, and that the CDC failed to provide adequate rationale for keeping the policy in place at a time when vaccinations, tests, and other measures to detect and treat Covid exist and are widely available. The five week transitional period, which Judge Sullivan granted “with great reluctance,” expires at midnight on December 21, 2022.