TOPEKA (KSNT) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt sent a request to a federal court on Thursday to block the Biden administration from rescinding the Title 42 public health policy regarding southern border migrants.

Schmidt referenced the Centers for Disease Control’s April 1 announcement that Title 42 would be rescinded. This would stop border officials from continuing to turn away migrants because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Title 42 policy was put in place in March 2020. It has since been used to turn away migrants in an effort to keep communicable diseases out of the U.S.

The CDC made the decision to institute Title 42 “after considering current public health conditions.” The agency determined “that expulsion of unaccompanied noncitizen children is not warranted to protect the public health,” according to an agency statement earlier this year.

With Schmidt’s request, Kansas joins 19 other states in filing an amended complaint and request for an injunction in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, asking the court to keep the policy in place. The attorneys argue rescinding the policy violates the Administrative Procedure Act, as it is arbitrary, and the Biden Administration did not conduct the statutory required notice and comment process.

“The Plaintiff States seek this Court’s intervention to forestall an imminent calamity: Defendants’ attempt to terminate the Title 42 system, which is the only safety valve preventing this Administration’s already disastrous border control policies from descending into an unmitigated catastrophe. Indeed, it is estimated that half a million migrants will illegally cross into the United States in the first month that the challenged order … goes into effect. The Administration has presented no possible way it can to identify, quarantine, treat, or mitigate communicable disease risk given the flood of border crossings it predicts. If not enjoined, the Termination Order will inflict devastating injuries upon the Plaintiff States and the entire nation.”

Statement from the attorneys general

Title 42 was previously lifted for unaccompanied migrant children who cross the border alone on March 16. A copy of Title 42 can be found here. To find an amended version of the AG’s request, click here.