For now, judge leaves migrant pandemic limits in place for Arizona, 23 other states

May 13, 2022, 1:07 PM

(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)...

(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

PHOENIX – Arizona and 23 other states await a judge’s ruling on their challenge to the Biden administration’s plan to end pandemic-related restrictions on migrants seeking asylum.

U.S. District Judge Robert Summerhays heard arguments Friday in Louisiana. He did not say when he will rule but indicated it will be soon. The administration plans to lift Title 42 restrictions at the southern border May 23.

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office argued last month the administration didn’t follow procedure, joining Louisiana and Missouri in the suit.

Arizona then followed that up with a request for a temporary restraining order, which was granted.

Summerhays’ previous rulings in the case have been favorable to the states challenging Title 42.

“Our coalition of state attorneys general will continue fighting to preserve Title 42 with the hope of maintaining some accountability and sanity at our southern border,” State Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in a press release after Friday’s court date.

U.S. authorities have expelled migrants over 1.8 million times since March 2020 under the policy, tying a 1944 public health law to preventing the spread of COVID-19 in denying migrants a chance to seek asylum, as required under U.S. law and international treaty.

Arizona Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly and several moderate Democrats have joined Republican leaders to call for an extension of Title 42 authority.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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For now, judge leaves migrant pandemic limits in place for Arizona, 23 other states