The Biden administration was about to terminate the rule known as “Title 42,” which since March 2020 has led to more than 1.7 million immediate removals and deportations of migrants who entered the country across the border of Mexico. However, the President’s plans were thwarted on Tuesday (26/04) after a federal judge’s ruling in Louisiana, which found that the end of Title 42 at this time poses an imminent risk to safety and public health in the United States.
In total, 20 U.S. states appealed to the federal court to prevent the government from revoking Title 42, claiming that ending the law at this time, as the president wanted, would provoke an even greater wave of migrants at the border, who would feel encouraged to enter the U.S. illegally, and further hinder the work of the already overburdened Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
“The population of undocumented immigrants at the border could reach 2.1 million people by the end of 2022, and the U.S. authorities need an effective contingency plan. Currently about 7,000 immigrants are seized daily at the border, and that number is expected to reach 2,000 to 18,000 seizures daily when Title 42 law is revoked. These are unprecedented numbers in the history of the United States”, said the immigration lawyer Marcelo Gondim,
At the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic, Donald Trump’s administration installed Title 42 as a public health measure, giving more power to border agents to remove illegal migrants from land to Mexico or on deportation flights to other countries. According to data from CBP (Customs and Border Protection), about 1,500 Brazilians were deported to Brazil in 2021, based on Title 42.
After Biden’s election, there was an expectation that Title 42 would be immediately terminated, which ultimately did not happen. On the contrary, the culmination of Deportations under Title 42 occurred in September last year, when U.S. authorities deported 10,000 people to Haiti.
“In fact, President Biden has adopted several pro-immigrant policies, such as restoring asylum programs and ending the separation of minors at borders, but Title 42 has remained in effect, mainly due to the legion of people from Central America, who have approached on the U.S. border with Mexico since the beginning of the current administration. It is important to mention that this was more a health measure, due to the advance of covid-19, than a political decision” (commented again Marcelo Gondim, who is also founder of the Gondim Law Corp, a law firm located in California.
The decision to maintain Title 42 was criticized by several pro-immigrant NGOs. However, it was praised by Republicans and also by most Democrats. The government has already announced that it will follow the federal court’s determinations until the new hearing on the subject takes place on May 13.