The U.S. Supreme Court temporarily extended Title 42, a Trump-era rule that has allowed immigration authorities to expel more than 1 million migrants who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border since the start of the pandemic. The public health measure was set to end on Dec. 21.
Chief Justice John Roberts granted an administrative stay to keep the measure in place for now after a group of 19 Republican-led states asked the Supreme Court to keep it in place.
He gave the Biden administration until Tuesday afternoon to file a response.
Last month, Federal District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington, D.C. ruled the measure to be “arbitrary and capricious in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.”
Title 42 was enacted as a public health order in 2020 under the Trump administration, and has continued to be used as an immigration enforcement measure even under Biden.
Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it would terminate the order, but in May a federal judge in Louisiana blocked the Biden administration from ending Title 42. In September, the White House expanded Title 42 to expel Venezuelan migrants at the southern border.
Judge Sullivan said that because Covid-19 was already widespread in the U.S. by the time the policy was enacted, it did not rationally serve its purpose of protecting public safety.