News and Commentary

Report: White House Considering Ending Rule Allowing U.S. To Expel Illegal Immigrants Over COVID Concerns
YUMA, AZ - MARCH 16: People cross a canal after walking over the dry Colorado River to cross illegally into the U.S. from Mexico on March 16, 2006 the border town of near San Luis, south of Yuma, Arizona. As Congress begins a new battle over immigration policy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) border patrol agents in Arizona are struggling to control undocumented immigrants that were pushed into the region by the 1990's border crack-down in California called Operation Gatekeeper. A recent study by the Pew Hispanic Center, using Census Bureau data, estimates that the U.S. currently has an illegal immigrant population of 11.5 million to 12 million, about one-third of them arriving within the past 10 years. More than half are reportedly from Mexico. Ironically, beefed-up border patrols and increased security are reportedly having the unintended result of deterring many from returning to their country of origin.
David McNew/Getty Images

The Biden White House is reportedly considering ending its use of “Title 42,” a Trump-era policy that allowed immigration officials to turn back and send back illegal immigrants over concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Axios reported Monday that President Joe Biden is considering two separate strategies for lifting Title 42, which the Biden administration had been using to expel captured illegal immigrants, expediting the deportation process over concerns that untested migrants could spread COVID-19.

“Title 42 allows Border Patrol to prohibit entry at the border to migrants who potentially pose a health risk at the southern border,” Hot Air noted Monday. “Migrants who cross over the border on land avoid health screening measures. They are not held in areas for processing but immediately sent back to the country of last transit. If it isn’t possible for them to be sent to the country of last transit, they are sent back to their country of origin with the help of other interagency partners.”

Paired with President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, Title 42 allowed the Trump administration to severely curtail illegal immigration, particularly last year as the world struggled with a pandemic.

As The Daily Wire noted last week, the Biden administration has formally ended the “Remain in Mexico” policy.

Axios reports that the Biden administration used the policy in around half of all encounters with migrant families, but now, the White House wants to bring the use of Title 42 to a close, and aides have given the president two options: end the effort by decree or allow the ACLU to sue the federal government and let the courts end Title 42.

“President Biden has been briefed on a plan for stopping family expulsions by the end of July, as well as the option of letting a court end it,” Axios noted, adding that aides prefer Biden simply end the policy. “Details of internal discussions relayed to Axios show top administration officials have suggested Biden seize the initiative by ending the order, which has been sharply criticized by immigration advocates and many of his fellow Democrats.”

Letting the ACLU exit negotiations with the White House on the subject — the two parties have been in discussions to avoid litigation for some time — would force the Biden administration to defend the policy and take a chance on whether a judge would strike down Title 42.

Ending the policy, of course, risks drawing attention to the ongoing immigration crisis on the United States’ southern border — a crisis which has seen a growing number of illegal alien apprehensions each month of Biden’s tenure.

But the Biden administration is “under pressure.”

“Title 42 was rooted in protecting the United States from an influx of COVID-19. Maintaining its use has been harder to defend while the Biden administration touts climbing vaccination rates and slowing death and infection numbers,” Axios reported, adding that both the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention support ending Title 42.

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