A federal judge issued an order on Tuesday barring federal authorities from using Title 42, a Trump-era rule that allowed the U.S. to quickly expel migrants who crossed the border.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan called the policy “arbitrary and capricious” in his ruling on Tuesday.
It comes as record numbers of migrants stream across the southern border, with more than 2.3 million encounters in fiscal year 2022, which ended in September.
Title 42 was originally enacted at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, allowing for authorities to quickly expel migrants on public health grounds.
The Trump administration used the authority to expel more than 185,000 migrants in fiscal year 2020, while the Biden administration expelled 937,000 migrants in 2021 and 983,000 migrants in 2022 using Title 42, according to CBP data.
The CDC announced in April that the order would expire at the end of May, but a federal judge in Louisiana temporarily blocked the Biden administration from ending it in response to a lawsuit by two dozen Republican-led states.