USA announces the official end of Title 42, rapid deportation policy

(CNN) — The Biden government will end this May 23 the border restrictions that Trump implemented during the pandemic and that effectively blocked the entry of migrants into the United States, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Friday.

Former President Donald Trump invoked the public health order known as Title 42 at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. A move that was immediately met with skepticism by immigrant advocates, public health experts and even administration officials who believed it was politically motivated. However, the Biden administration continued to rely on politics despite the objections of its allies.

“In consultation with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), this prescription will be implemented on May 23, 2022, to allow DHS time to implement appropriate COVID-19 mitigation protocols, such as the extension of a program to provide COVID-19 vaccines to migrants and prepare to resume regular migration under Title 8,” the CDC said in a much-anticipated announcement.

“After considering current public health conditions and increased availability of tools to fight COVID-19 (such as highly effective vaccines and therapeutics), the CDC Director determined that an order suspending the right to entry of migrants to the United States,” the agency added.

Migrant families and single adults will continue to be turned away at the US-Mexico border through that date, with a few exceptions.

What to expect after the suspension of Title 42

The suspension of this measure is expected to have immediate consequences and to mean the return of traditional immigration protocols that have been in place for decades.

The Department of Homeland Security is preparing for the worst case scenario, in which up to 18,000 people try to cross the border daily. A figure that will surely overwhelm the already full border facilities.

The agency is also setting up temporary facilities to handle the surge in numbers, deploying hundreds of staff to provide assistance, and leveraging partnerships with other federal agencies, among other measures. This week, DHS also began offering COVID-19 vaccines to migrants at the US-Mexico border, and this program is expected to increase in the coming weeks.

With the end of Title 42, migrants could be detained or deported if they do not have an asylum application. Migrants can also be released into the US while undergoing their immigration procedures. And if they are released, they could be enrolled in alternative detention programs for continued monitoring.

“Once the Title 42 order is no longer in effect, DHS will process people found at the border under Title 8, which is the standard procedure we use to place people in removal proceedings,” National Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement Friday.

“However, we know that smugglers will spread misinformation to take advantage of vulnerable migrants. Let me be clear: those who cannot establish a legal basis to remain in the United States will be removed,” he added.

CNN’s Geneva Sands contributed to this report.

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