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Biden Expected to End Title 42 Border Expulsion Policy by May 23

Updated: Apr 6, 2022

The title 42 Border Expulsion Policy was used to expel over 200,000 immigrant families and asylum-seekers as a Trump-era policy. The Biden administration is expected to end the use of Title 42 to expel asylum-seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border by May 23, more than two years after the controversial program was first implemented.

Title 42 has been in place since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and allows border officials to immediately expel migrants who attempt to cross the border without allowing them a chance to claim asylum. The policy has been used to expel migrants more than 1.7 million times, according to official estimates.

Citing directives by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. immigration officials have carried out over 1.7 million expulsions of migrants under Title 42 in the past two years, 70% of them under President Biden, who retained the policy despite reversing other Trump border initiatives.

The policy has been repeatedly criticized for a number of reasons, chief among them being that it makes it nearly impossible for people seeking asylum to do so. Under Title 42, people seeking refuge in the United States can be immediately turned back and removed from the country without the opportunity to have their claims for asylum heard first. Many of the people expelled to Mexico are not Mexican citizens, and are thus living in unfamiliar cities, often in migrant shelters or encampments.

The number of attempted border crossings for the month of March is expected to be high, and will likely surpass February’s number of 165,000, as hundreds of Ukrainian and Russian refugees have joined migrants looking to cross the southern border.

The Biden administration has kept the policy in place until now, arguing that expulsions are necessary to prevent the introduction of Covid-19 into the United States, despite opposition by public health experts, the federal courts, and CDC scientists themselves. Title 42 has been subject to ongoing litigation, with two federal appeals courts issuing divergent rulings on the policy’s legality as recently as March 5, 2022.

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