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Federal Judge prevents Title 42 from ending

Title 42, the pandemic-era policy that prevented migrants from applying for asylum by immediately dismissing them from the border will still stay in place despite the Biden’s administration’s plans to end the policy on May 23rd, 2022.

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    The Federal Ruling

    Although the Biden administration made plans to phase out and ultimately end Title 42 by May 23rd, 2022, a federal judge has recently ordered that Title 42 restrictions should still stay in place. In Lafayette, Louisiana, U.S. district judge Robert Summerhays issued a preliminary injunction on Friday blocking the end of Title 42 restrictions stating that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) should have allowed the public to comment on Title 42’s termination before it was finalized to end.

    It should be noted that this notice-and-comment process for federal regulations usually takes months to complete, so if this ruling is upheld, Title 42 and its expulsions of asylum seekers could remain in place for months to come.

    migrant camp in Mexico

    Biden’s plan to end Title 42

    The Biden administration had already made plans months ago to phase out Title 42 restrictions and ultimately end the policy at the U.S.-Mexico border by May 23rd. 2022. However, this plan has faced many barriers as federal judges issued injunctions preventing both the lifting of restrictions and the termination of the policy. In addition, two dozen U.S. states have sued the Biden administration to keep Title 42 in place as they fear lifting the immediate expulsions at the border will lead to an increase in crime, illegal border crossing, and other issues regarding public health and safety.

    The Biden administration has announced plans to appeal the decision as even the CDC has stated that the public health policy was “no longer necessary”.

    Mass Expulsions at the U.S.-Mexico border

    Under Title 42, more than 1.9 million expulsions have been issued since March 2020 under the justification that these individuals were exposed to COVID-19 and therefore must immediately be turned away without the opportunity of applying for asylum at the U.S-Mexico border. The right to seek asylum is considered a legal right by both U.S. law and international treaties.

    Those individuals who were turned away were forced to remain in Mexico where they were made vulnerable to kidnapping, torture, rape, and other violence from the local gangs and cartels, or expelled to their countries of origin where they could face even more hardship.

    Furthermore, the pile-up of migrants who have been turned away at the border and therefore are forced to remain in Mexico has put pressure and strain on the resources available to the Mexican government which is then forced to deal with issues that arise when an influx of asylum seekers enter and remain in the country.

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