The Supreme Court temporarily halted the termination of Title 42 on Tuesday, allowing the Trump-era policy to remain in place until the justices hear a challenge from Republican-led states in February.

The policy, which was originally enacted at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, allows immigration officials to quickly expel migrants on public health grounds.

US District Judge Emmet Sullivan sided with immigration advocates last month who argued that the policy is no longer necessary, setting an end date of Dec. 21.

An aerial view of immigrants lining up next to the US-Mexico border fence after spending the night outside on December 22, 2022 in El Paso, Texas.
(John Moore/Getty Images)

Chief Justice John Roberts put a temporary hold on Title 42’s termination on Dec. 19.

STATE AGS WARN OF ‘ENORMOUS’ HARM IF TITLE 42 POLICY ENDS IN LAST-DITCH APPEAL TO SUPREME COURT

In Tuesday’s 5-4 ruling, Justices John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, and Clarence Thomas agreed to hear a challenge from Republican-led states during the February 2023 argument session.

While the stay prevents the district court’s order vacating Title 42, it does not “prevent the federal government from taking any action with respect to that policy.”

Immigrants bundle up against the cold after spending the night camped alongside the US-Mexico border fence on December 22, 2022 in El Paso, Texas.

Immigrants bundle up against the cold after spending the night camped alongside the US-Mexico border fence on December 22, 2022 in El Paso, Texas.
(John Moore/Getty Images)

Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the high court’s three liberal justices, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ketanji Brown Jackson, in dissenting.

“The current border crisis is not a COVID crisis,” Justice Gorsuch wrote. “And courts should not be in the business of perpetuating administrative edicts designed for one emergency only because elected officials have failed to address a different emergency. We are a court of law, not policymakers of last resort.”

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Title 42 has been used to determine migrants more than 2.5 million times. Despite that, a record 2.3 million migrants were encountered at the border in fiscal year 2022, according to Customs and Border Protection.



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