Biden administration announces official end to Title 42 restrictions at the US border

Former President Donald Trump invoked a public health authority, known as Title 42, at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, a move that was immediately met with skepticism by immigrant advocates, public health experts, and even officials within the administration who believed it to be driven by political motivations. Yet the Biden administration continued to lean on Title 42 despite objections from its allies.

“In consultation with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), this termination will be implemented on May 23, 2022, to enable DHS time to implement appropriate COVID-19 mitigation protocols, such as scaling up a program to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to migrants and prepare for resumption of regular migration under Title 8,” the CDC said in a highly anticipated announcement.

“After considering current public health conditions and an increased availability of tools to fight COVID-19 (such as highly effective vaccines and therapeutics), the CDC Director has determined that an Order suspending the right to introduce migrants into the United States is no longer necessary,” the agency added.

The lifting of the pandemic-restrictions is expected to have immediate ramifications and would mean a return to traditional immigration protocols.

The Department of Homeland Security is preparing for a worst-case scenario of up to 18,000 people trying to cross the border daily, a number sure to overwhelm the already full border facilities.

With the lifting of Title 42, migrants might be detained or removed if they don’t have an asylum claim. Migrants may also be released into the US while they go through their immigration proceedings, and if released, might be enrolled in alternative detention programs for continued monitoring.

This story has been updated with additional background information.

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