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President Joe Biden will suspend Title 42, the U.S.-Mexico crossing ban. Democrats and civil rights organizations contend that immigration officials rapidly expelling immigrants without allowing them to apply for asylum is inhumane and violates their right to file an application. Republicans, on the other hand, urged Biden to keep the policy since they believe it “is one of the only existing ways to deal with a rise in migrant border crossings,” according to The Texas Tribune.
Title 42 U.S. Code, section 265, which provides for the suspension of entries and imports from designated places to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, was established on July 1, 1944. The Surgeon General enacts this policy with the sitting president for a designated time frame.
When enacted by former President Donald Trump’s administration on March 20, 2020, he viewed the policy as a way to suppress the so-called “mass uncontrolled cross-border movement,” reports CBS News. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield invoked Title 42. Initially, Redfield’s order would be lifted in 30 days, then it was extended another 30 days in April, but the following month the ban was extended indefinitely.
More than 1.7 million people were expelled by immigration officials using the rule in the past two years.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) asserts the United States government misused the WWII-era public health law to keep millions from rightfully applying for asylum.
Texas Republicans Want Title 42 to Continue
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) held a press conference about Title 42 on Wednesday. The senator talked about the Border Patrol’s concern over ending this program without a replacement. They feel there must be something in place to deal with the volume of migrants because, as Cornyn said, “they will simply lose control of the border.”
He further expressed the need for Congress to change the United States asylum laws and give those that guard the border additional tools and resources, according to The Texas Tribune.
The senator appeared to be partially misinformed since the day before his conference, a senior official from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) told reporters it is prepared for as many as 18,000 migrants a day at the U.S.-Mexico border if Title 42 is revoked. The department ran through three scenarios, and 18,000 would be the highest number. They stressed, however, that this “is only a prediction and they were prepared for anything,” reports ABC News. Moreover, DHS created “a joint information center with officials from across the federal government.”
The CDC was scheduled again to determine by March 30, 2022, if it will extend the health order, reports ABC News. On April 1, the agency announced it would lift the ban that kept migrants from applying for asylum. Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, the CDC director, wrote the following to support the decision;
I hereby determine that the danger of further introduction, transmission, or spread of Covid-19 into the United States from covered noncitizens, as defined in the August order, has ceased to be a serious danger to public health.
President Biden’s administration announced it would remove Title 42 on May 23. The two-month delay will give DHS adequate time to prepare.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
NBC News: Biden administration to lift Title 42 Covid restriction on border in May, officials say; by Julia Ainsley
CBS News: What is Title 42, the COVID-19 border policy Democrats want Biden to end? By Camilo Montoya-Galvez
The Texas Tribune: Texas Republicans push Biden administration to keep rule that turns asylum-seekers away at the border; by Andrew Zhang
ABC News: US bracing for influx of migrants at southern border if Title 42 revoked: DHS; by Luke Barr
ABC News: Biden administration says it will lift Title 42 restrictions along the southern border; by Luke Barr and Quinn Owen
The New York Times: C.D.C. Confirms It Will Lift Public Health Order Restricting Immigration; by Eileen Sullivan
Featured and Top Image by UpstateNYer Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License
Inset Image by Mani Albrecht for U.S. Customs and Border Protection Courtesy of DVIDS – Public Domain License