Title 42 has been one of the most controversial immigration clauses in American history. The code was first introduced in 1944 in order to navigate public health and welfare in America. Then, in the spring of 2020, the clause was revived by the Trump Administration during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Migrants typically have the right to request asylum once they reach U.S. territory. However, Title 42 has prevented that from happening, as many migrants were immediately sent back to their country of origin. After three long years, Title 42 is set to be terminated on May 11, 2023.
Some argued that the implementation of Title 42 was necessary to protect American lives from the emerging pandemic, while others believed that, a code that was once put in place in the interest of the general American republic, had been utilized as a vehicle for Immigration reform – primarily to prevent immigrants from entering the United States. The Trump administration claimed that using Title 42 this way was helpful for American citizens because it would prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Immigration advocates have spent approximately three years acknowledging that the initial wave of Covid-19 was frightening and unpredictable, but that it was in no way grounds for isolating immigrants and leaving them defenseless. They have stated that innocent asylum seekers have been left defenseless and denied of their right to seek asylum in the U.S., where they would be free from the persecution they faced in their home country.
Regardless of your position on the necessity of Title 42, we can all agree that it has been one of the most polarizing and divisive immigration topics in contemporary politics. Its termination will mark a large policy shift in how the United States processes immigrants, particularly those crossing the southern border and those seeking asylum.
What To Expect Now That Title 42 Is Over
The clause is ending because Covid-19 is no longer considered a public health emergency. Now that the clause nears its end, we can expect to see an increase in migrant arrivals, as well as a spike in border crossings. We can also expect expanded opportunities for migrants to legally enter the United States. The administration also announced that it would set up processing centers in Latin American countries to vet migrants for eligibility. However, the administration also stated its plan to increase regular deportations through a process known as “expedited removal.” Therefore, although Title 42 is gone, things may become more complicated for migrants in other areas.
Currently, there is no telling how the Biden administration will respond to the needs of migrants in the wake of the end of Title 42. Hopefully, the Biden administration is able to do what is best for the American people, while also remembering the amazing contributions that immigrants have made in the past and will continue to make in the future!