Title 42: The Most Polarizing Immigration Clause To Date

Summary

Title 42 allows the Director of the CDC to exclude migrants from entering the U.S., including not allowing them to apply for asylum. This policy creates strong emotions on both sides of the immigration debate. It still remains to be seen whether the Biden administration will fully repeal this policy.

“Title 42” is clearly one of the most polarizing and divisive immigration topics in contemporary politics. In fact, it is probably one of the most controversial immigration policies in a long-time. Officially, Title 42 of the U.S. Code, Section 265, allows the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prohibit the introduction into the United States of individuals when the director believes that there is serious danger of the introduction of a communicable disease into the United States. In short, the purpose of Title 42 was to navigate public health and welfare in America.

In the spring of 2020, the Trump administration implemented what was then a largely unheard-of provision of the U.S. Code during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. There were many people who believed that Title 42 was simply being utilized as a vehicle for immigration reform – to prevent immigrants from entering the United States. However, the administration argued that the use of Title 42 was beneficial for American citizens, as it deterred the preventable spread of Covid-19.

Over the last more than two years many have continued to argue that the Trump administration used both the pandemic and Title 42 as a vehicle to carry out its restrictive immigration policies. They have accused President Trump and his administration of having discriminatory and xenophobic practices, both before and after the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Immigration advocates tend to believe that, although the initial wave of Covid-19 was frightening and unpredictable, it was in no way grounds for isolating immigrants and leaving them defenseless. They believe that that the Trump administration shunned asylum seekers rather protect them.

Being that the United States is now under the Biden administration, many are hopeful that the policy will be lifted. Ever since the implementation of Title 42, immigrants have experienced a heightened amount of physical and emotional pain at the hands of border patrol. As of recently, media outlets and journalists have captured egregious and inhumane acts toward those who are seeking help and asylum. Due to Title 42, there is very little safe haven for immigrants in this political climate.

However, for those seeking to eliminate Title 42, all hope may not be lost. The Biden administration has spoken about lifting this clause and once again allowing those who arrive at the border to request asylum. Recent tensions have risen though, as opposing sides have expressed their desire for the clause to remain in place. A federal district court judge has demanded that the Biden Administration leave Title 42 as is. However, the administration intends to appeal its decision. Although there is currently no telling the true fate of Title 42, spectators believe that there will eventually be an overturn of the clause.

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