CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Twenty states, including West Virginia, are suing the Biden administration over the removal of Title 42, which prevents immigration on the U.S.’s southern border.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey joined the lawsuit because he believes that rescinding the health policy would “worsen the unprecedented crisis at our nation’s southern border.”

Title 42 was used during the COVID pandemic to prevent possibly infected people from outside the U.S. from bringing COVID into the country. The Title is set to be rescinded on May 23. Despite the fact that COVID numbers are drastically reduced and masks are no longer required even on public transportation, many, including politicians from West Virginia, still oppose removing the Title’s influence.

“This irresponsible move by the Biden Administration shows utter disregard for protecting our Southern Border,” Attorney General Morrisey said.

West Virginia’s Senators Manchin and Capito have also joined a bipartisan group that introduced a bill to prevent and delay the removal of Title 42. Back in March, Manchin also urged the CDC to extend the Title due to emerging COVID threats in Asia.

According to Attorney General Morrisey, revoking Title 42 will create a surge at the southern border that would overwhelm law enforcement agencies and non-governmental organizations. 

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security estimates that getting rid of Title 42 could result in as many as 18,000 migrants per day showing up at the southern border – which could mean 540,000 migrants in a single month.

The attorneys general are asking a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana to force the Biden administration to keep Title 42 in place until it conducts the notice and comment period required under the APA and adopts a policy that is not arbitrary and capricious.

Attorney General Morrisey joined this Arizona-led lawsuit with his counterparts in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming.