Attorney General Knudsen joins lawsuit to keep Title 42 restrictions in place
HELENA – Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen joined a lawsuit against the Biden administration today to block it from rescinding the Title 42 public health policy during the worst border crisis in decades. The lawsuit asks the court to move swiftly to keep the policy in place and prevent the influx of illegal border crossings that will result if it is lifted next month. A deepened crisis at the border would have a devastating impact across the country as states like Montana grapple with a surge of fentanyl and other illegal drugs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced earlier this month it will terminate the Title 42 policy that allows border officials to turn away migrants to prevent the spread of communicable diseases, like COVID-19, effective May 23. The policy has been in effect since March 2020. At the same time it is lifting these public health measures, the CDC announced it will also extend the federal mask mandate.
“Ending Title 42 in the midst of the ongoing border crisis is such a bad policy that even liberals like Beto O’Rourke and Jon Tester oppose it,” Attorney General Knudsen said.
Terminating Title 42 will create an unprecedented surge at the southern border, and it will overwhelm law enforcement agencies and non-governmental organizations. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security estimates that terminating Title 42 could result in as many as 18,000 migrants per day – up to 540,000 in a single month – showing up at the southern border.
The lawsuit, which was filed last week by the attorneys general of Arizona, Louisiana, and Missouri asks a federal judge to force the Biden administration to keep Title 42 in place until it conducts the required notice and comment period required under the APA and adopts a policy that is not arbitrary and capricious.
Click here to read the amended complaint filed today.
Click here to read the preliminary injunction motion.
In addition to Montana, new states joining the lawsuit are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.