McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — Hours after the Supreme Court announced Title 42 would be extended, the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday said it would continue enforcing the public health policy along the border.

In a statement issued Tuesday evening, DHS said: “As required by today’s Supreme Court order, the Title 42 public health order will remain in effect and individuals who attempt to enter the United States unlawfully will continue to be expelled to Mexico or their home country.”

The nation’s high court on Tuesday announced the pandemic-era limits that prevents asylum seekers from crossing the Southwest border would remain in place while justices decide a case filed by 19 states, including Texas, which want the Biden administration to continue the border restrictions.

Thousands of asylum seekers have migrated to northern Mexican border cities, like Juarez, Reynosa and Matamoros, hoping to be able to cross into the United States and claim asylum if Title 42 lifts.

A U.S. Border Patrol agent speaks to immigrants blocked from entering a high-traffic illegal border crossing area along Rio Grande in El Paso, Texas, from Juarez, Mexico, on Dec. 20, 2022. El Paso is under a state of emergency due to a surge of migrants crossing from Mexico into the city. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

But DHS officials have long maintained that if Title 42 goes away, that there are other immigration enforcement laws on the book — like Title 8 — which also sends back those who do not qualify for asylum. But the difference is that Title 8 involves fully processing the migrants and detaining them in order to do so, and takes much longer than the immediate expulsions that Title 42 allow.

“The border is not open, and we will continue to fully enforce our immigration laws,” DHS said.

And once again the administration is leaning on lawmakers in Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, rather than piecemeal measures.

“We will continue to manage the border, but we do so within the constraints of a decades-old immigration system that everyone agrees is broken. We need Congress to pass the comprehensive immigration reform legislation President Biden proposed the day he took office,” DHS officials said.

Sandra Sanchez can be reached at Ssanchez@borderreport.com