New Orleans, LA – Today, Innovation Law Lab, a non-profit organization that seeks to advance refugee and immigrant justice, filed its appeal brief at the Fifth Circuit in Louisiana v. CDC, a case brought in the Western District of Louisiana by Arizona, Texas, and 22 non-border states seeking to stop the Biden Administration’s termination of the Title 42 order, which has effectively shut down access to asylum at the southern border.
Innovation Law Lab has a direct stake in Louisiana v. CDC: its mission-driven work of providing representation to those seeking asylum along the U.S.-Mexico border has been completely thwarted by Title 42, a so called “public health” policy that has been debunked by public health experts time and time again. The organization has argued it should be permitted to join as a party because of the direct stake it has in the outcome of this case, but the district court denied its earlier motion to intervene. Today, Innovation Law Lab is appealing the denial of that motion, and the nationwide scope of the preliminary injunction that for over two months has forced the continuation of Title 42 across the entire border despite the Biden Administration’s plans to terminate it.
Represented by the Center for Immigration Law and Policy at the UCLA School of Law (CILP), the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG), and the law firm of Perkins Coie, Innovation Law Lab has sought to intervene in this case to argue that any relief the court orders should be limited to apply only in the states that brought this lawsuit. In May, the district court denied Innovation Law Lab’s motion to intervene and granted the Plaintiff States’ motion for a nationwide preliminary injunction. Innovation Law Lab now seeks reversal of those orders.
“Ending Title 42 is a matter of life and death for people who urgently need a safe place to escape violence and persecution,” said Ian Philabaum, Co-Director of Innovation Law Lab’s Anticarceral Legal Organizing Program. “This nationwide injunction allows a group of anti-immigrant states — the majority located far from the border — to essentially hold asylum seekers hostage in highly dangerous situations. Our organization, just like the migrants we represent, deserves our day in court.”
For over two years, Title 42 has closed the border to people seeking asylum. In April, the Biden Administration announced its intent to terminate Title 42 on May 23 of this year, which the Plaintiff States later challenged in this lawsuit.
“The nationwide injunction has prolonged the weaponization of Title 42 along the entire southern border for two additional months and counting. We are appealing today because the district court’s order gravely endangers lives and represents a pattern of judicial overreach,” said Monika Y. Langarica, Staff Attorney at the UCLA Law Center for Immigration Law and Policy. “Courts must not permit a handful of states to hold hostage immigration policy for the whole country.”
“We are appealing today because the nationwide scope of this injunction is causing continued harm across the border, including in places that are not even a party to this litigation,” said Matt Vogel, Supervising Attorney at the National Immigration Project. “While we believe the CDC had full authority to terminate Title 42 in its entirety, today we argue that the scope of the injunction should at the very least be limited only to the states involved in the litigation and should be stopped from applying nationwide.”
Innovation Law Lab’s Fifth Circuit appeal brief can be read in its entirety here.
Founded in 2020, the Center for Immigration Law and Policy (CILP) at the UCLA School of Law expands the law school's role as a national leader in immigration law and policy, generating innovative ideas at the intersection of immigration scholarship and practice and serving as a hub for transforming those ideas into meaningful changes in immigration policy.