Last Updated: May 10, 2022

NIPNLG and the Center for Immigration Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law ("CILP") represent Innovation Law Lab and two individuals who were stranded in Tijuana after being blocked form seeking asylum at the California-Mexico border by Title 42. On May 9, we moved to intervene in State of Arizona, et al. v. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, et al, 22-cv-885 (W.D. La.), a lawsuit filed by Arizona, Texas, and 18 non-border states challenging the Biden administration's decision to terminate the cruel Title 42 policy implemented by President Trump during the COVID-19 pandemic. We sought intervention for a single purpose: to argue that any order enjoining the termination of Title 42 should apply only in the plaintiff states and should not apply nationwide.

Before the implementation of Title 42, individuals apprehended at or near the southern border were entitled to access the U.S. asylum system, either by being placed directly in removal proceedings or by passing a credible fear interview. In March 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC") issued an emergency Interim Final Rule suspending the operation of normal asylum procedures under the Public Health Service Act, and ordering the suspension of entry into the U.S. of people without proper entry documents or entering between ports of entry. Customs and Border Protection implemented this order by halting the processing of asylum seekers at the border and expelling people back into Mexico without giving them the opportunity to apply for asylum. Reporting has confirmed that the Title 42 policy began in the Trump White House and continued even after CDC officials stated there was no public health justification for it.

On April 1, 2022, the CDC announced its intention to end the Title 42 expulsion policy, effective May 23. Two days later, Arizona and several other states (none of which have an international border) filed a lawsuit in the Western District of Louisiana seeking to enjoin the CDC's order terminating Title 42 prior to that order taking effect. The court granted their motion and entered a nationwide TRO on April 27, 2022. Since that order, 24 other states, including Texas, have joined the lawsuit and sought a preliminary, nationwide injunction preventing the termination of Title 42.

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