Saturday, April 20, 2024

Biden Reevaluating COVID Restrictions that Stopped Migrants from Entering the U.S.

The Biden administration is rethinking its plan to lift COVID-19 restrictions that have blocked more than 750,000 migrants seeking asylum from crossing the southern U.S. border.

Sources say the White House and Department of Homeland Security had targeted July 31st as the date to end Title 42 but, yesterday, those plans were “in flux” and neither agency had sent out plans to Customs and Border Protection on how to phase out the policy. Currently, under Title 42, all migrants except for children who cross the border unaccompanied may be sent to Mexico without having a chance to have their asylum cases heard in the U.S.

While many families and some single adults have been allowed in as exceptions, immigration advocacy groups have sued the federal government to guarantee that families be allowed to make their claims in U.S. immigration courts. A White House official stated, “As we’ve said before, Title 42 is a public health authority, and that authority rests with the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]. We’ll continue to defer to the public health experts on these decisions and don’t have a timeline to preview on specific plans on when Title 42 is no longer needed.”

Under Title 42, last month CBP expelled more than 55,000 migrants including children. Since October 2020, over 752,000 migrants have been expelled.

The possible lift of the order, issued by the Trump administration back in March 2020, follows a surge in COVID-19 cases in the U.S. specially those caused by the Delta variant and several other recent events that have put pressure on President Biden’s immigration policies. Some Border Patrol officials said they are concern that lifting Title 42 would attract even more migrants to make the dangerous journey to the U.S. southern border. Thus far, no decision has been made about when Title 42 might be lifted.