Biden Administration Has Been Planning To End Title 42 Border Policy

Top officials at the Department of Homeland Security planned to tell Mexico that the controversial Trump-era border policy enacted during the pandemic could end as soon as April, which could lead to increased immigration to the border and strained resources, according to documents obtained by BuzzFeed News.

The existence of such a plan, revealed in a draft document, comes as the Biden administration deals with the failure of two federal court orders on border policy known as Title 42, has drawn criticism from Senate Democrats and immigration advocates. has long argued that it is illegal.

Former president Donald Trump first cited Title 42 as a way to contain the coronavirus by deporting immigrants at the border and preventing them from accessing the US asylum system. Some immigrants were quickly deported to Mexico, and others were flown home. President Joe Biden has continued to enforce this policy during court trials, deporting people at the border more than 1 million times in the process.

But a pair of court rulings — including one in which a judge ordered the continued return of immigrant children back to the border — along with the federal response has been and is growing. The pandemic in the United States could mark the end of policy. A senior DHS official told BuzzFeed News that the agency has planned for the end of Title 42. And the draft document obtained by BuzzFeed News also mentions an ongoing “contingency plan” of the department when it occurs. On Wednesday, Reuters also reported that the administration was “tilted” toward ending Title 42.

Meanwhile, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is expected to meet Mexican officials next week.

In particular, DHS officials planned to stress to Mexico that if Title 42 no longer applies, the agency would need to go back to processing immigrants who crossed the border without authorization through operations. ordinarily, before COVID, this would allow them to seek asylum and protection within the United States. Prior to Title 42, immigrants arrested at the border could apply for asylum and have their request evaluated to determine if they could remain in the country to pursue their case. .

But those pre-pandemic practices could “severely strain” resources at the border and lead to a challenging humanitarian situation in northern Mexico, the draft DHS document warns. Department officials also expressed concern about the “historically high” number of immigrants crossing the border without permission.

The use of Title 42 gave the Biden administration more than a year to review changes to border policy and the asylum system. But whether any major changes will come when Title 42 disappears remains to be seen. Administration officials have been keen to implement a plan to dramatically reshape the way asylum seekers are handled to resolve a large backlog of immigration cases, potentially cutting waiting times The wait time of some applicants is down to many years. The plan, which has yet to be published in its final version, would transfer the decision on whether certain immigrants encountered at the border should be granted asylum from an immigration judge to the officer. refugee or not.

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