(CNN) — A public health order that allows migrants found on the border with Mexico to be expelled from the United States will remain in effect, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determined this week. A decision that was made despite widespread opposition from allies of the Biden administration.
The policy, known as Title 42, was invoked by the Trump administration at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Later, the Biden administration continued it and even defended it in court. Since its implementation, more than one million expulsions of migrants have been registered under this measure, according to data from the Office of Customs and Border Protection (CBP, for its acronym in English).
“The current reassessment examined the impact of the pandemic in the United States and across country borders, taking special note of the increase in cases and hospitalizations since December due to the highly transmissible omicron variant,” CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said in a statement. a statement.
“CDC continues to emphasize the need for testing, vaccination, and other mitigation measures at border facilities beyond the use of the policy,” the statement continued.
Immigration activists have urged the White House to suspend the order to no avail, arguing that it has no health basis and endangers immigrants.
“The Title 42 order has no basis in public health and the CDC allows it to be used to justify mass removals of asylum seekers in violation of US and international refugee law,” said Robyn Barnard, senior advocacy advisor at Human Rights First, to CNN. “This policy of removing asylum seekers is a stain on the history of the United States and is now part of the legacy of the President and Vice President.”
Biden administration officials are weighing offering vaccinations to migrants at the US-Mexico border. But, previous attempts have been rebuffed by the White House. In the meantime, the CDC will continue to review the order every 60 days.