A federal judge in Louisiana said he’ll rule on the future of Title 42 before the pandemic-related restrictions on asylum expire on May 23.

On April 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which invoked that public health order in March 2020, announced the Biden administration’s plans to end Title 42. 

More than 20 states sued to block the Biden administration from ending Title 42, arguing that the Administration is unprepared for a migrant influx at the border that the government itself anticipates.

Here are some facts about Title 42:


Title 42 is a World War II-era public health order that prohibits entry into the United States if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes it could introduce communicable diseases into the country. 

CDC officials invoked Title 42 at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March of 2020.

Migrants are expelled to Mexico under Title 42, which allows for the immediate expulsion due to the coronavirus pandemic, at the Paso Del Norte International Bridge in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua State, Mexico on September 9, 2021. (Photo by PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)

In his order, then-CDC Director Robert Redfield said, “There is a serious danger of the introduction of COVID-19 into the land (ports of entry) and Border Patrol stations at or near the United States borders with Canada and Mexico, and into the interior of the country as a whole, because COVID-19 exists in Canda, Mexico, and the other countries of origin of persons who migrate to the United States across the United States land borders with Canada and Mexico.” The order applies to anyone who travels from Canada or Mexico, regardless of country of origin. 


Title 42 was implemented under the Trump administration and has continued under the Biden administration. 

It allows U.S. Border Patrol agents and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers to immediately expel migrants from the U.S. without giving them a chance to request asylum. 

In most cases, agents can remove migrants within two hours. 

Migrants sent back under Title 42 do not have an immigration enforcement removal on their record and are rarely processed and, instead, turned around and repatriated to their country of origin. 


As of the end of April, migrants have been expelled under Title 42 order more than 1.9 million times. 

Because the migrants face expulsion without a record of the removal, many attempt to cross more than once, officials say


A federal judge in Louisiana is still considering whether the Biden administration can end Title 42. 

Following a hearing on Friday, U.S. District Judge Robert Summerhays did not say when he would rule but said it would be soon. 

Border Patrol agent look on as migrants on the Mexico side approach a gap in the border wall across from Yuma, Arizona on May 16, 2022. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Summerhays has previously given signs that he will rule in favor of Louisiana, Arizona and 19 other states that have sued to preserve Title 42 authority. 

An attorney arguing for the 21 states said that the Biden administration made plans to lift Title 42 without sufficient consideration about the effects the move could have on public health and law enforcement.


If Title 42 ends, those who try to cross into the United States and do not meet the standards for asylum will be turned back under Title 8.

Title 8 is the long-standing immigration law that lays out the parameters for migrants — such as showing a credible fear of returning to their home country — to make a case for staying in the United States.

A significant difference between Title 42 and Title 8 is that under Title 42, DHS has the authority to expel migrants. 

Under Title 8 processing, migrants can claim asylum or be processed for removal if they don’t qualify. The process takes longer.

Under Title 8, those sent back will have an enforcement record on the books, and if they try to return before a certain period, they will face automatic removal.