May 19, 2024

US-Mexico Border Crisis: Title 42, why has it ended?

After taking office in January 2021, the Biden administration maintained Title 42 and argued that it was necessary to protect public health for over a year. However, the US Centers for Disease Control, which oversees health policy, announced in April 2022 that the policy would be ended as the public health risk was now lower.

Nevertheless, some Republican-led states are attempting to keep similar policies in place. A Senate bill, supported by Kyrsten Sinema, an Independent from Arizona, and Thom Tillis, a Republican from North Carolina, would allow for rapid expulsions similar to Title 42, but without the justification of public health concerns. It is important to note that the legality and ethics of such policies remain a subject of debate, with some arguing that they infringe upon human rights and international law. Therefore, the future of these policies is likely to remain controversial.

What is Title 42: Why it is important?

US Immigration Rule

Title 42 is a public health rule that was implemented by the United States government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The rule allows the government to expel migrants, including asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors, at the border without providing them the opportunity to seek protection in the United States.

Under Title 42, migrants are quickly expelled to their home countries or to Mexico, without any due process or access to legal representation. The rule was put into place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but critics argue that it is being used as a pretext to restrict immigration and deny access to the asylum process.

Supporters of Title 42 argue that it is necessary to protect public health during the pandemic, as migrants may be at a higher risk of contracting and spreading the virus. They also argue that the rule is temporary and will be lifted once the pandemic subsides.

Critics, however, argue that the rule violates U.S. and international law by denying migrants the right to seek asylum and protection from persecution. They also argue that the rule puts migrants at risk by forcing them to return to dangerous situations in their home countries.

Overall, Title 42 is a controversial immigration rule that has important implications for the rights and safety of migrants at the U.S. border.

Since the implementation of Title 42, there have been widespread concerns raised by human rights organizations, legal advocates, and health experts about its impact on the lives and well-being of migrants, especially those who are fleeing violence, persecution, and poverty in their home countries.

Some of the criticisms of Title 42 include:

  • Violation of international and U.S. laws: Under international and U.S. laws, individuals have the right to seek asylum and protection from persecution. Title 42 effectively suspends this right, and critics argue that it violates the principle of nonrefoulement, which prohibits the return of individuals to a country where they may face persecution or harm.
  • Lack of due process: Under Title 42, migrants are rapidly expelled without any opportunity to access legal representation, apply for asylum, or appeal the decision. This denies them the due process that is guaranteed under U.S. law.
  • Risk of harm and abuse: Migrants who are expelled under Title 42 are often left stranded in dangerous border regions, where they face a heightened risk of violence, extortion, and exploitation. This includes unaccompanied minors who may be at risk of trafficking or abuse.
  • Public health concerns: While Title 42 is intended to protect public health, some experts argue that it is ineffective and may actually increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission. For example, the expulsion process often involves crowding migrants together in confined spaces, which can facilitate the spread of the virus.

Despite these concerns, Title 42 remains in effect as of May 2023 but now it ended.

In November 2020, a federal judge ruled that the rule was likely illegal and ordered the government to stop using it to expel unaccompanied minors. However, the ruling was later overturned by an appeals court.

In August 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which oversees the implementation of Title 42, announced that it would review the rule and consider modifications. However, no changes have been made yet, and the rule remains in effect.

As of May 2023, the Biden administration has faced criticism for continuing to use Title 42 to expel migrants, particularly those who are seeking asylum. Some advocates argue that the rule contradicts the administration’s stated commitment to human rights and immigration reform.

In response to these criticisms, the Biden administration has announced some measures to mitigate the impact of Title 42. For example, it has allowed some vulnerable migrants, such as pregnant women and some families, to be exempted from expulsion under the rule. It has also established new processing centers in Mexico where some migrants can apply for asylum and other forms of protection.

However, these measures have been criticized as inadequate by some advocates, who argue that they do not address the fundamental problems with Title 42. The future of the rule, and its impact on the lives of migrants, remains uncertain.

Title 42 Ends and Title 8 Kicks In: What it means?

Importantly, Title 42, a pandemic-era immigration policy that was put in place during the Trump administration, was scheduled to expire on Thursday, and its expiration would have resulted in a return to previous immigration standards for handling migrants at the border.

Title 42 refers to a provision of the Public Health Service Act that allows the federal government to take certain measures to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. Specifically, Title 42 Section 265 authorizes the Surgeon General to prohibit the entry of individuals into the United States or to impose certain health measures on them in order to prevent the spread of disease.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump administration invoked Title 42 to justify expelling migrants who crossed the southern border without proper documentation, citing concerns about the spread of COVID-19. The Biden administration has continued to use Title 42 to some extent but has also begun to phase it out.

Title 8, on the other hand, pertains to immigration and naturalization law. It is a more comprehensive and wide-ranging section of the United States Code that covers everything from visa applications to citizenship requirements to deportation procedures. Title 8 includes provisions that establish the legal framework for immigration and naturalization in the United States, and it is therefore central to the country’s immigration policy.

Title 8 of the United States Code outlines the basic requirements for lawful immigration to the United States, including visa applications, admission procedures, and deportation rules. It also establishes eligibility criteria for citizenship and lays out the procedures for naturalization. Title 8 contains a number of different sections that address specific aspects of immigration law, such as employment-based visas, family-based visas, and asylum.

In recent years, Title 8 has been the subject of intense political debate and controversy, with lawmakers and advocacy groups on both sides of the immigration issue offering differing interpretations of its provisions. Some argue that Title 8 is too restrictive and makes it difficult for immigrants to legally enter or remain in the United States, while others argue that it is necessary to maintain the integrity of the immigration system and protect national security.


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