The Biden administration is reportedly considering ending a policy that helps contain the surge of illegal immigrants crossing the southern border into the United States by allowing illegal border crossers to be returned to Mexico.
Title 42, a policy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) designed to control the spread of COVID-19, was made to allow Customs and Border Protection to turn away migrant families in Mexico. This policy was enacted under the Trump administration at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 to contain the spread of the virus from immigrant families into the United States. The normal immigration court process was waived and immediately returned immigrants to Mexico, even if that was not the country of origin (Axios).
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Title 42 was also used to turn away not only illegal immigrants but also asylum seekers. It also allowed unaccompanied minors to be returned to Mexico. According to Axios, they were advised by Representative Henry Cuellar of Texas that as soon as mid-July the Biden administration may end Title 42. The Biden administration is now reportedly considering ending the policy under pressure from different immigration groups, human rights groups as well as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Experts have also spoken out against the end of Title 42. Former Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Thomas Homan states, “[Ending Title 42] will send a clear message to the entire world—grab a kid, illegally enter our border, and we will release you into the interior of the U.S.” Other experts have warned a surge of illegal immigration will skyrocket if Title 42 is removed. House Democrats, however, are in support of an end to Title 42. They believe when immigrants are returned to their host countries they further contribute to the spread of the virus and would be safer if let into the United States.
House Democrats stated in a letter “Leading public health experts have repeatedly made clear that by employing sensible, science-based public health measures, the United States can safeguard public health and safely process people seeking protection at our border.” The White House has said the plan to end Title 42 is merely under consideration and that a final decision has not been made, according to Law Enforcement Today.