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Biden’s Decision to End Title 42 Border Policy, Explained

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The Biden administration will stop enforcing Title 42 on May 23, an extraordinary rule that barred undocumented migrants at the border during the pandemic.

The CDC issued a notice on Friday to inform of the rescission of this rule on that date to allow time to implement “COVID-19 mitigation protocols.”

“After considering current public health conditions and increased availability of means to combat COVID-19 such as vaccines and treatments, CDC has determined that the order suspending the right of immigrants to enter the United States is no longer necessary,” the text states.

As explained by the Department of Homeland Security, once the Title 42 Order is no longer in effect, DHS will process individuals found at the border under Title 8, which is the standard procedure they use to place individuals in removal proceedings.

With the repeal of the measure, traditional immigration protocols are expected to return. In fact, the White House assured on Friday that it is preparing for an increase in migration. The so-called fact sheet indicates that the Department of Homeland Security has moved officers, agents, and volunteers to quickly decompress points along the border and process migrants more efficiently.

DHS also highlighted that Customs and Border Protection has mobilized resources to rapidly raise, expand and/or reinforce Central Processing Centers to provide a more efficient and comprehensive operation for migrants at the Southwest Border. In addition, additional ICE personnel will be deployed to the border to facilitate processing.

What is Title 42?

Title 42 was activated by the Trump administration shortly after the start of the pandemic in March 2020 and has so far been maintained by the administration of his successor, Joe Biden. Under this extraordinary rule, the United States has carried out more than 1.7 million expulsions of migrants in an expedited manner and without offering them the possibility of seeking asylum, according to official data from February of this year.

Title 42 is contained in the Public Health Act of 1944, which allows for the expedited exclusion of any person who may present a risk to the health of the country.

In a statement, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas indicated that Title 42 is not an immigration figure, but a public health figure, which has been used by the CDC “to protect against the spread of a contagious disease.”

“Title 42 is not an immigration authority, but a public health authority used by CDC to protect against the spread of communicable diseases. Title 42 will remain in effect until May 23, and until then, DHS will continue to remove single adults and families at the southwest border,” Mayorkas said.  

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