The Title 42 public-health order implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has expired. The order allowed for the expulsion of migrants, including asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors, from the U.S. border to mitigate the spread of the virus.
The expiration of Title 42 has brought hope to many migrant advocates and organizations, who have been pushing for the end of the policy for months. They argue that Title 42 is a violation of human rights and puts vulnerable migrants in harm’s way.
“The expiration of Title 42 is a step in the right direction towards a more humane and just immigration policy,” said Sarah Pierce, policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute. “It’s time for the U.S. to prioritize public health without sacrificing the rights of asylum seekers and migrants.”
Some lawmakers have criticized the Biden administration for ending the policy, with GOP Senator Tom Cotton tweeting, “Ending Title 42 is reckless and will only exacerbate the crisis at our southern border. Biden’s incompetence knows no bounds.”
The Biden administration has defended the decision to let Title 42 expire, citing improvements in the COVID-19 situation and a commitment to human rights.
“We can protect public health and uphold our values as a nation of immigrants at the same time,” said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in a press conference.
“We will continue to process asylum claims in a fair and efficient manner while also addressing the challenges at the border.”