WASHINGTON, D.C. – After a whirlwind one-day tour of the southern border to highlight their concerns about a pending change in immigration policy, U.S. Rep. Blake Moore (R-Dist. 1) and House colleagues hailed a judicial decision in their favor.
“Mark this down as another of (President Joe) Biden’s executive decisions or orders that the courts have had to correct,” Moore said after that ruling.
On April 1, the Biden administration announced plans to end the Trump-era expulsion policy known as Title 42 on May 23. That policy blocked people seeking shelter from dangerous or harmful conditions from applying for asylum in the United States.
Moore had joined a congressional delegation led by House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to Eagle Pass, TX on April 25.
That group, made up of Republicans, met with representatives of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB), the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Army National Guard. They heard how those groups are now handling the border security crisis and how they preparing for their situation to worsen once Title 42 is eliminated.
At the same time Monday, a federal judge hearing a request from more than 20 attorneys general of GOP-led states signaled that he intended to block the Biden administration’s winding down of pandemic-related asylum restrictions.
Judge Robert Summerhays of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana said that he intends to grant a temporary restraining order sought by the states to preserve the border directive.
Summerhays was appointed to the federal bench by former President Donald Trump in 2018.
“I applaud Judge Summerhays’s decision to temporarily block the Biden administration’s misguided attempt to lift Title 42, one of our most effective tools for curbing illegal immigration,” Moore said Tuesday.
“By lifting Title 42 without first establishing a plan to address the hundreds of thousands of people who will cross our border in the coming months,” he added, “our border crisis will further deteriorate, burdening already overwhelmed CBP officers and leaving our borders open to more illegal and dangerous cartel activity.”
Attorneys from the states and others representing the federal government will now confer and attempt to reach agreement on the specific terms to be contained in the restraining order, according to a Monday court filing.
In March of 2020, the Trump administration took advantage of pandemic concerns to issue Title 42, which barred individuals without valid documentation from entering the U.S. through either the Canadian or Mexican borders, regardless of whether they were seeking asylum.
Advocates for the immigrants say that thousands of asylum-seekers have suffered from violence, kidnappings, torture and rape after being sent back to their countries of origin or in border towns.
Based on their nationality, illegal immigrants at the southern border were either send back to Mexico or taken into U.S. custody under Title 42.
Mexico only took in immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Many of those individuals were later deported by Mexican authorities to their countries of origin.
Of those taken into CBP custody, most were transferred to ICE and then expelled to their home countries without being given the opportunity to apply for asylum.
In addition to Moore and McCarthy, the congressional delegation included Representatives Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Tony Gonzales (R-TX), Randy Weber (R-TX), Michael Guest (R-MS), Chip Roy (R-TX), Majorie Taylor Green (R-GA) and Diana Harshbarger (R-TN).
— House Republicans (@HouseGOP) April 25, 2022
The delegation’s visit to the southern border came just days after the GOP nominating convention where state delegates appeared to give Moore a vote of no confidence.
After three rounds of balloting, former civilian intelligence officer Andrew Badger narrowly missed capturing the nomination with 59.2 percent of the ballots cast as opposed to Moore’s 40.7 percent.
Moore will now face off against Badger and former Morgan County commissioner Tina Cannon in the June 28 Republican primary voting.
Cannon had already secured a spot on the primary ballot by collecting voter signatures.