Over the past year, you may have heard about Title 42 in the news. This public health order was put in place by the US government to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among immigrants, especially those who arrive at the US-Mexico border. However, because of Title 42, millions of migrants have been immediately expelled without the chance to apply for asylum or other legal protections. As the expiration date for Title 42 approaches, many wonder what will happen next. In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about Title 42.
Next, we will answer the following questions:
- What is Title 42?
- How is Title 42 being used today?
- When will Title 42 end?
- Does this mean the US-Mexico border will be open?
- What will happen after Title 42 ends?
- What will replace Title 42?
What is Title 42?
Title 42 is a public health order enacted as part of the Public Health Service Act of 1944 to prevent the spread of diseases in the United States. In March 2020, the Trump administration invoked Title 42 for the first time to address the spread of COVID-19 in immigrant detention centers at the US-Mexico border. The policy has two main implications:
- It allows for the immediate expulsion of any migrant who tries to enter the US without inspection.
- It allows most migrants to be turned away immediately without the opportunity to apply for asylum or other legal protections.
How is Title 42 being used today?
Since March 2020, the Trump and Biden administrations have used Title 42 as a public health measure to turn away over 2 million migrants attempting to cross the US-Mexico border without allowing them to request asylum or other legal protections. Border Patrol officials have justified these expulsions because migrants’ entry could contribute to the spread of COVID-19.
When will Title 42 end?
Title 42 will end on May 11th. This is due to the expiration of the national COVID-19 public health emergency, which eliminates one of the key legal justifications for the policy.
Does this mean the US-Mexico border will be open?
No, the US Border Patrol will continue to enforce immigration laws and warns that those who enter the US between ports of entry are subject to expulsion or removal.
What will happen after Title 42 ends?
The end of Title 42 will have significant implications for migrants at the US-Mexico border and the US government’s immigration policies. Here are a few examples of what could happen:
- The end of Title 42 could increase the number of migrants at the border. The acting commissioner of the Border Patrol, Troy Miller, has warned that the number of crossings could double, reaching up to 10,000 a day, the day after Title 42 ends. He expects this to put pressure on the resources available to process and accommodate these migrants.
- In response, the government has signaled that it is considering implementing new measures to prevent the arrival of migrants, such as increased restrictions on applying for asylum.
- Another issue is the spread of misinformation to the migrant community. Noticias Telemundo has already alerted the public about a user on TikTok with almost 200,000 followers who shared wrong information in a video that President Biden had announced “there will no longer be deportations” at the southern border as of May 11. Immigration attorney Mario Lovo clarified that the video was inaccurate and emphasized that Title 42 is not the only measure at the border. After May 11, other rules involving deportation will continue to apply.
What will replace Title 42?
Starting May 12, the Department of Homeland Security will resume fully enforcing immigration laws under Title 8, meaning migrants with no legal basis to remain in the United States may face deportation. Title 8 also imposes immigration and criminal consequences for those who cross the border illegally, including deportation, a five-year bar on reentry, and possible criminal prosecution if they try to re-enter.