President Joe Biden’s administration on Wednesday said it will appeal a federal court’s decision that invalidated a pandemic-era order that blocks migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border as other related legal challenges move forward.
The Biden administration in a court filing said it wanted to appeal a November ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan throwing out an order known as Title 42, which blocks some asylum seekers at the border.
After Sullivan ruled that Title 42 was invalid, he gave the administration until Dec. 21 to prepare for its wind down.
An official in the administration said it intends to continue with that date for the wind down but will ask an appeals court to rule that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was within its legal authority to issue the order in the first place.
The CDC sought to end the order in May, but the move was blocked by a federal court in Louisiana and that case is active.
Issued in March 2020 under former Republican President Donald Trump, Title 42 allows U.S. authorities to rapidly expel migrants caught at the border to Mexico or other countries without the chance to pursue asylum.
Biden, a Democrat who took office in 2021, pledged to undo Trump asylum restrictions. But his administration initially kept the order in place for more than a year amid record migrant arrests at the U.S.-Mexico border.
U.S. officials have been preparing for a possible increase in illegal border crossings if Title 42 ends.
A coalition of states with Republican attorneys general are seeking to intervene in the lawsuit to keep Title 42 in place.