Title 42 and the Consequences Already Being Felt

President Biden, in yet another demonstration of bold leadership, is allegedly reconsidering his decision to stop the use of Title 42 to prohibit migrant entry into the country on May 23. 

“Biden officials are well aware of their predicament,” Axios reports.

“Moderate Democrats are pleading with them to postpone the repeal, but doing so would incite the party’s progressive base. This consists of members of the Congressional Hispanic Coalition, who will meet with the president on Monday.” 

Biden’s Failure

The problem is Biden largely revoked Title 42 over a year ago; his failure to reimplement President Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” program in its place is precisely why the border deteriorated since then. 

Title 42’s demise began in November 2020, when a Clinton-appointed arbitrator in Washington, D.C., determined Title 42 did not authorize the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to evacuate juveniles from the United States.

Because the petitioner was a 16-year-old Guatemalan, the judge’s decision halting Title 42 expulsions applied only to unaccompanied children, not to all migrants. 

The Trump administration successfully challenged that decision in January, but immediately upon taking office, Biden directed the Department of Homeland Security to cease expelling unaccompanied youngsters.

Although there is no scientific basis for concluding that unaccompanied kids have a lower risk of spreading COVID-19 than families or single people, the CDC eventually issued a 21-page opinion defending that judgment. 

Following Biden’s exemption of immigrant children from Title 42, unaccompanied children detained for illegally crossing the southern border more than doubled, from 3,600 in December 2020 to 18,900 in March 2021. 

Rise in Numbers

Additionally, shortly after Biden was elected president, the Mexican region of Tamaulipas abruptly ceased accepting migrant families deported under Title 42.

Rather than finding a method to compel Tamaulipas to cooperate, as they had done under Trump, Biden opted to let these families remain in the United States.

As a result, the number of residents apprehended for illegally entering the southern border increased. 

In December 2020, only 12,000 migrants traveling in families were apprehended after unlawfully crossing the southern border. By August 2021, the figure had risen to 86,000. 

Not every family is exempt from Title 42.

For example, in August 2021, 17,000 migrants arrested as family members were returned to Mexico under Title 42, but over 73,000 were processed into the United States. 

Though Title 42 has not been repealed in its entirety, Title 42 requires the expulsion of all single adults and many families. 

However, many families are permitted to enter the United States and travel wherever they like. All unaccompanied youngsters are processed by DHS and placed with sponsors in the United States. 

A complete repeal of Title 42 will almost certainly result in a surge of migrants of all years to the southern border, escalating the current catastrophe.

However, policymakers should keep in mind that Title 42 has been partially implemented for almost a year.