Title 42 Policy Set to Be Canceled
Early in 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security began a policy of turning away migrants at the border based on Title 42. Basically, Title 42 allows officials to stop immigration based on the danger of the introduction of communicable disease into the United States. COVID-19 became an excuse to expel refugees and asylum seekers without any real consideration.
The CDC and Immigration
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention don’t normally dictate US immigration policy. Title 42 allows the CDC to respond to public health emergencies by preventing potentially infected people from gaining entry into the country.
The use of Title 42 is controversial when it comes to people who have already entered the country. If the benefit of Title 42 is to prevent exposure to communicable diseases, that benefit is lost once the person has already gained entry.
A Trump Administration Policy Perseveres
Some expected the Title 42 border policy to stop as soon as President Biden took office. Instead, the policy has continued for more than a year into the current administration. The CDC finally announced an end to the policy this month.
A complicating factor in the Title 42 debate is that it is not a traditional immigration policy. It is a public health measure operating as an immigration policy. With the CDC struggling to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision to end the policy may not have been a top priority.
The Impact of Title 42 Expulsions
Getting expelled under Title 42 is not an immigration action. That means there is no formal impact on a person’s immigration status if they are removed under Title 42. It is not shown as rejection or deportation that could hurt a person’s ability to gain legal access to be here.
Information is gathered from people expelled under Title 42. It is possible that repeated removals under Title 42 could be considered as evidence in the future. For now, the policy has caused some people to attempt to enter multiple times. For many, there is no other choice.
It’s hard to predict the outcome of stopping this policy. Some commentators think attempted border crossings will increase. Others think the policy change won’t affect the number of asylum seekers. The situation in Ukraine complicates these predictions, as many countries are seeing a surge in the number of people fleeing the region.
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