The Department of Homeland Security plans to comply with a federal court order to stop planning to lift the Covid-era public health order known as Title 42, senior officials told reporters on Tuesday. administration.
On Monday, Louisiana Western District Judge Robert Summerhays said he plans to issue a temporary restraining order that would prevent the Biden administration from rolling up the city’s Title 42 before its scheduled lifting date of 23 may. Judge Summerhays, appointed by President Donald Trump, could later rule on a preliminary injunction sought by 21 states, the majority of which are run by Republican governors, that would stay the lifting of Title 42 on May 23.
“We will comply with the court order, but we really disagree with the basic principle,” said one of the officials who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity. The official said that after Title 42 is lifted, DHS would “expedite” expedited deportations of migrants and the court order would simply delay plans to do so.
Officials briefed reporters ahead of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ congressional testimony on Wednesday, where he faces pressure over the decision to lift Title 42, even from Democrats who warn that it will lead to an overwhelming wave of border crossings by undocumented immigrants. .
About 8,000 migrants a day currently cross the southern border, according to internal Customs and Border Protection data obtained by NBC News, numbers that could lead April to March’s all-time high for border arrests. And the Biden administration predicts that about 12,000 migrants a day will begin crossing the border when Title 42 is lifted. Currently, about half of the migrants encountered are turned back on the other side of the border and prevented from applying for asylum. When Title 42 is lifted, immigrants will be allowed to live in the United States while they file for asylum, a process that can take between two and four years.
The Biden administration has said it plans to deport more migrants who do not pass the initial asylum test and is working with countries in the region to accept flights returning their citizens.
A country that has refused to accept the return of its emigrants is Cuba. Another senior administration official told reporters on Tuesday that talks between the United States and Cuba on immigration policy were “ongoing” and had “a good start.”
Families from El Salvador, Guatemala and El Salvador made up the majority of people crossing the border before the pandemic. Officials said they do not plan to bring back the practice of detaining migrants with their children, a tool used by both the Obama and Trump administrations to deter family migration.