OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
A federal judge has stepped in to stop President Joe Biden from releasing hordes of illegal immigrant minors at the Southern border.
On Friday, Texas Federal Judge Mark Pittman granted a request by Republican officials in Texas to stop the Biden administration from exempting minors traveling sans parents from the pandemic-era expulsion policy, known as Title 42, CBS News reported.
Friday’s ruling by Pittman, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump in 2019, is the latest judicial victory for Texas’ Republican government, which has filed numerous lawsuits since President Biden’s inauguration to hinder his administration’s immigration and border policies.
Texas has already blocked key Biden administration immigration policies, including a proposed 100-day moratorium on deportations last January, and convinced a federal judge last summer to require U.S. border authorities to revive a Trump-era program that requires migrants to await their asylum hearings in Mexico.
Pittman’s ruling was issued just a few hours after a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. barred the Biden administration from using Title 42 to expel migrant families traveling with children to countries where they could be harmed or tortured. That order has not yet taken effect.
Title 42 began in March 2020 and allowed the United States to send migrants back before screening them for asylum claims or letting them see a judge.
The Biden administration has argued that the policy is needed in order to curb the spread of coronavirus in immigrant detention centers, but it has exempted minors from the order.
The administration chose to send the minors to detention centers that were overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services, in accordance with a
From there the minors are placed with sponsors or family members in the United States where they can seek asylum, visas and other benefits.
On Friday, Pittman said the Biden administration failed to properly justify the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention orders that codified the Title 42 exemption for unaccompanied minors last summer, calling them “arbitrary and capricious” and in violation of federal administrative law.
Pittman also agreed with Texas’ argument that migrant children who are not expelled could spread the coronavirus.
“Here, the President has (arbitrarily) excepted COVID-19 positive unaccompanied alien children from Title 42 procedures—which were purposed with preventing the spread of COVID-19,” the judge said.
Stephen Miller, a former advisor to former President Donald Trump, who heads America First Legal, celebrated the news.
“We are honored beyond words to have partnered with Attorney General Ken Paxton and the State of Texas in our landmark lawsuit against the Biden Administration’s egregious decision to except ALL illegal alien minors traveling without adults (UAC) from Title 42—and to have just obtained a preliminary injunction. Biden’s decision to except UAC from Title 42, and instead mass resettle them in the United States, has led to the largest wave of criminal child smuggling in human history–and the flood of illegal alien teens and minors has drained the resources of our schools, hospitals, and communities while creating a new unimpeded recruiting pipeline for MS-13. This preliminary injunction orders the Biden Administration to halt their order categorically excepting unaccompanied alien minors from Title 42 repatriation. This is a truly historic victory, but we have a long, long, long way to go to end the Administration’s crusade to eradicate our sovereignty,” he said.
The decision was also celebrated by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in a post on Twitter.
Huge win against Biden! Along w @America1stLegal & @IRLILaw, I sued the Admin for failing to use Title 42, contrib to massive wave of smuggling. Fed court just BLOCKED Biden from excepting alien minors from the Title 42 process. Win for Texas & children—loss for Biden & cartels!
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) March 5, 2022
“Huge win against Biden! Along w @America1stLegal & @IRLILaw, I sued the Admin for failing to use Title 42, contrib to massive wave of smuggling. Fed court just BLOCKED Biden from excepting alien minors from the Title 42 process. Win for Texas & children—loss for Biden & cartels!” he said.