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Biden will end Title 42 expulsions at the U.S. southern border

The Biden administration has recently announced the end to Title 42 expulsions of asylum seekers at the United States’ southern border starting May 23rd, 2022.

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    What is Title 42?

    Title 42 is a pandemic-era policy that is used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help curb the spread of infection disease by prohibiting the entry of potential carriers or others who pose a health risk into the United States. At the start of the COVID-10 pandemic in March 2020, the Trump administration used the public health policy as a way to deny migrants to apply for asylum at the U.S.’s southern border with Mexico under the argument that migrants may have been exposed to the infectious disease while in border camps.

    Since the implementation of Title 42, the U.S. has carried over 1.7 million expulsions at the border. Many migrants who were refused entry on the grounds of Title 42 were either sent back to Mexico or their home countries without being given the opportunity to apply for asylum in the United States.

    Many pro-immigration advocates have called this expulsion policy a violation of both international and U.S. law.

    US-Mexico Border Wall

    When will the border patrol stop enforcing Title 42?

    Despite promises to overturn Title 42 and other anti-immigration policies, President Biden kept the public health policy in place. Since COVID-19 infections have been plummeting in the United States, the Biden administration has been forced to reconsider many pandemic restrictions including Title 42.

    As a result, the Biden administration has recently announced that expulsions due to Title 42 will cease as of May 23rd, 2022. Until then, asylum seekers at the southern border can still be turned away with the exception of unaccompanied minors (children under the age of 18).

    migrant children at a border camp in Mexico

    Expulsions under Title 42

    Since its implementation, many Democratic politicians, medical experts, and the United Nations have criticized Title 42 as not being effective at limiting COVID-19. Instead, many have argued that it has created confusion and crisis at the southern border which put many migrants in dangerous situations. After being denied the chance to apply for asylum, many migrants who fled persecution, violence, poverty, and climate catastrophe soon became susceptible to violent crimes at the hands of the local gangs and cartels.

    Every day the United States’ southern border deals with an influx of migrants whose numbers are increasing every month. Once Title 42 will no longer be enforced, many believe more migrants will come to the border and further overwhelm the immigration system with asylum claims. In preparation for this expected arrival, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has stated that they will increase personnel and resources to the region in addition to having already deployed more than 600 law enforcement officers to the border.

    The law enforcement officers are intended to help refer smugglers and certain border crossers for criminal prosecution while the increased border personnel is meant to help expedite asylum claims through the ‘dedicated docket’ procedures. The new ‘dedicated docket’ procedures are intended to process cases within 90 days at the border as opposed to immigration courts where the process can take longer. The Biden administration hopes that these new asylum procedures at the border will help decrease the ever-expanding immigration backlog which overwhelms the United States immigration system.

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