Washington, Dec 28 (UiTV/IANS) – The US Supreme Court has voted to keep in place a Trump-era asylum-limiting measure, blocking thousands of people from crossing the country’s border with Mexico.
Tuesday’s 5-4 decision reversed lower court decisions that the so-called Title 42 policy, applied about 2.5 million times since March 2020, had to end December 21, reports Xinhua news agency.
This means that the policy will remain in effect until a final ruling.
Title 42, which came into effect in spring 2020 in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, allows US border officials to automatically expel undocumented migrants and asylum-seekers seeking entry into America.
The court’s decision was in response to an emergency appeal from some Republican-led states who had asked for the policy to remain in place.
Also on Tuesday, the Supreme Court scheduled arguments in the case for February 2023, with a final decision expected later in summer.
The White House responded in a statement that the Supreme Court’s order “keeps the current Title 42 policy in place while the Court reviews the matter in 2023”.
“We will, of course, comply with the order and prepare for the Court’s review… We are advancing our preparations to manage the border in a secure, orderly, and humane way when Title 42 eventually lifts and will continue expanding legal pathways for immigration,” it said in a statement.
The Department of Homeland Security also weighed in on the Supreme Court’s order on Tuesday, saying that “individuals who attempt to enter the US unlawfully will continue to be expelled to Mexico or their home country”.
The Department also said the “decades-old” immigration system is broken while urging Congress to pass comprehensive reform legislation.
About two million people have been expelled under Title 42 in fiscal years 2021-22, according to US Customs and Border Protection’s data.