PHOENIX – Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt are suing the Biden administration for rescinding the public health policy, Title 42, during the worst border crisis in decades. The revocation will result in an unprecedented crisis at the United States southern border that will have a devastating impact not just on border states, but across the country.
“While it’s difficult to identify President Biden’s most irresponsible move since taking office, rescinding Title 42 is certainly up there,” said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “It’s a ridiculously poor decision with a bad intention for border states and American communities across the country. This administration’s reckless pandering to the far Left and complete abdication of its responsibility to public safety cannot be allowed to continue.”
“Today, Missouri, Arizona, and Louisiana filed suit against the Biden Administration for rescinding Title 42 amid one of the worst border crises in this country’s history. Title 42 is a crucial tool for controlling the influx of illegal aliens at our Southern border,” said Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt. “Time and again, the Biden administration has failed to act to secure our Southern border and have terminated successful programs like Title 42 and the ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy. Missouri has been a leader in pushing back on the Biden administration’s failure at the border, and we filed suit against the cancellation of the ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy and also filed suit to force the Biden administration to build the Southwest border wall. If the Biden administration won’t take proactive steps to secure our border and protect our citizenry, we certainly will.”
"Presidential politics are killing public safety," said Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry. "Joe Biden needs to stop trying to be woke and start protecting the homeland.”
On Friday, the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) announced it will terminate the Title 42 public health policy that allows border officials to turn away migrants because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The policy has been in effect since March 2020 and has been used by both the Trump and Biden administrations to turn away thousands of migrants to try and keep communicable diseases, like COVID-19, out of the country.
The Attorneys General argue that revoking the policy violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) as it is arbitrary and capricious, and the Biden administration did not conduct the statutorily required notice and comment process.
Revoking Title 42 will create an unprecedented surge at the southern border and it will overwhelm law enforcement agencies and non-governmental organizations as well. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, (DHS), estimates that getting rid of Title 42 could result in as many as 18,000 migrants per day showing up at the southern border – which could mean 540,000 migrants in a single month.
As a border state, Arizona is directly affected by rescinding Title 42 in several ways. Arizona bears the substantial costs of incarcerating unauthorized migrants (amounting to tens of millions of dollars each year) as well as increased health care costs for migrants infected with COVID-19 and other communicable diseases. Additionally, Arizona’s border is at major risk for increased drug trafficking and cartel activity. The number of fentanyl pills seized in Arizona has skyrocketed over the last year.
Arizona, Louisiana, and Missouri are asking the Western District Court of Louisiana to force the Biden administration to keep Title 42 in place until it conducts the required notice and comment period required under the APA and adopts a policy that is not arbitrary and capricious.
Copy of complaint here.