Title 42 Immigration Policy

Haitian migrants entering Del Rio, Texas through Mexico (Provided by AP)

Fiona Wang and Mustang Staff

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky stated that the CDC will stop authorizing U.S. border agents to expel migrants without asylum interviews starting May 23. This decision was made because of the drop in Covid-19 cases and the increased vaccination rates in the U.S. and foreign countries.

In October the Biden Administration defended the use of Title 42, a clause of the Public Health Services Law (1944) that allows the government to block immigration to the US “during certain public health emergencies.” The Trump administration used Title 42 during the outbreak of COVID-19 to expel migrants at the border, due to concerns over the virus further spreading from migrants reports Armando Garcia of ABC News.

Between October 2020 and August 2021, 938,045 migrants were expelled under Title 42 (source: US Customs and Border Protection). Under the Biden Administration the US border officials carried out over 704,000 expulsions. 92,000 parents and children in families were turned back.

AFGE President Michael Knowles stated, “Migrants are being prevented from exercising a basic human right, which is to apply for asylum.” (CBS News)

In 2021 The USBP reported more than 1.6 million encounters with migrants along the US Mexico border. These 2021 encounters equal the high encounters of peak years 2000 and 1986 reports Pew Research. Single adults account for the largest group of migrants (1M), followed by family units (451k), and unaccompanied children (144k). The largest migrant encounters along the US Mexico border is in the Rio Grande Valley sector (549k encounters).

Due to the coronavirus pandemic expulsion has replaced apprehension as the norm.

Is Title 42 needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19?