Title 42 border immigrant Mexico US ending
Why is Title 42 ending? (Image courtesy of Bloomberg)

The controversial border policy called ‘Title 42’ enforced by former US President Donald Trump is coming to an end. The policy was a result of some pandemic era decision-making, but even then, the legislation had an expiry date looming large. Political analysts have been busy trying to predict what the end of Title 42 would mean for immigrants attempting to cross the US border.

As the Biden administration brings a legislative end to the Covid public health emergency, it also looks like the end of the road for Title 42. In fact, it’s hard to imagine Title 42’s implementation without an emergency declaration. Title 42 ends on Thursday, May 11, at 11:59 pm ET.  

What is Title 42, and how does it work?

To put things simply, Title 42 is an emergency health authority that began in March 2020, during the onset of the pandemic. Back then, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made this rule to prevent the spread of Covid-19

This rule allowed officials to remove immigrants without papers at the US land borders quickly. It is commonly referred to as Title 42 because it is part of the US law that lets the CDC director create such rules.

Title 42 ending US border mexico
US Immigration Checkpoint (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Before, migrants could enter the US illegally and request asylum. They will be permitted to stay in the country while processing their immigration cases.

However, with Title 42, migrants were sent back across the border. They were not allowed to seek asylum. US officials rejected migrants over 2.8 million times, but families and unaccompanied children were an exception to this rule.

Exploring the implications for immigrants

After Title 42 ends, new policies address illegal border crossings. The Biden administration aims to discourage immigrants from undertaking dangerous journeys. Now, if anyone crosses the border illegally, there will be strict consequences.

  • Immigrants without documents will be banned for five years from returning to the US. If they do, they may face criminal charges. The government has changed the whole process; now, online application is a must.
  • The expiry of Title 42 implies that there is an issue of overcrowding in Border Patrol stations. These are meant for temporary housing and lack the capacity to accommodate the large number of migrants arriving. 

New rules for asylum after Title 42 expires

Under US and international law, anyone can request asylum upon arriving in the US. Typically, people from various countries come to the US-Mexico border seeking asylum. They undergo screening to determine if they have a credible fear of persecution in their home country.

However, the Biden administration is now turning away individuals seeking asylum if they did not seek protection in a country they traveled through or applied online first. 

When it comes to families crossing the border illegally, there will be curfews. As a result, the head of the household should have to wear an ankle monitoring bracelet

Immigration officials must determine within 30 days whether a family can stay in the US or face deportation. This process typically takes years

You can share any questions about Title 42 ending and immigrants at the US border. Until then, stay with us here at Spiel Times for more content.

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