After Title 42, a 1944 public health law that justifies immediate removal of immigrants without an opportunity to seek asylum, was set to end in December, the Supreme Court ruled it should remain in place until the court is presented with the states’ appeal.

Nineteen Republican-led states are appealing the decision to end Title 42, claiming in their filing that lifting the policy would create “unprecedented calamity” at the border, according to USA Today.

The Deseret News reported the controversial policy was put in place at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

Here’s what we know.

Federal judge orders Biden administration to end Title 42 in five weeks

How did the high court keep Title 42 in place?

The court came to the decision in a 5-4 vote to reverse lower court decisions that would have ended the policy in December, according to ABC News.

The court’s ruling is set to keep Title 42 in place until hearing oral arguments from the states on the appeal, which are set to be presented to the justices in February.

The Supreme Court said in a statement, “The stay itself does not prevent the federal government from taking any action with respect to that policy.”

Chief Justice Roberts places hold on termination of Title 42, keeping Trump-era immigration policy in place

Why did the Supreme Court keep Title 42 in place?

The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement about the Supreme Court’s decision, “People should not listen to the lies of smugglers who take advantage of vulnerable migrants, putting lives at risk.”

The Deseret News reported that before Supreme Court’s recent ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts “temporarily stopped the ending of Title 42.”

Roberts’s temporary order on the policy allowed for officials at the border to turn away migrants up until the justices decide on an appeal filed by Republican-led states, according to CNN.

Homeland Security continued in its statement, “We will continue to manage the border, but we do so within the constraints of a decades-old immigration system that everyone agrees is broken. We need Congress to pass the comprehensive immigration reform legislation President Biden proposed the day he took office.”

A statement shared with the Deseret News from the International Rescue Committee said, “The IRC calls on the Biden Administration, state and local governments to stand for the protection of all asylum-seekers and end the border externalization policies that put asylum seekers at risk.”

Romney: Finishing the border wall and keeping Title 42 are the immigration solutions ‘sitting right in front of’ Biden

What are people saying about this decision?

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The Texas Tribune reported that Lee Gelernt, the lead lawyer in the American Civil Liberties Union’s legal challenge to Title 42, said that though the case is ongoing, there is no need to keep the policy in place, as it harms asylum-seekers.

“The Supreme Court has allowed Title 42 to remain in place temporarily while the case is ongoing, and we continue to challenge this horrific policy that has caused so much harm to asylum-seekers and cannot plausibly be justified any longer as a public health measure,” Gelernt said.

CBS News reported that White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre said, “Title 42 is a public health measure, not an immigration enforcement measure, and it should not be extended indefinitely.”

Jennie Murray, President and CEO of the National Immigration Forum said, “Title 42 is a failed border framework.” Murray continued, “It benefits smugglers, contributes to disorder at the border and is partially to blame for an increase in border crossings.”

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