President Joe Biden is reportedly considering terminating, by the end of July, Trump-era pandemic control protocols that allow U.S. border authorities to quickly deport any migrant amid the pandemic, including asylum seekers.
Known as Title 42, Biden is mulling ending the measure, already weakened by his administration, amid a record-shattering surge of migrants, mainly from the Central American Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.
The White House is considering ending the measure “as early as July 31,” Axios revealed Sunday.
“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 has learned,” the news outlet revealed.
The Biden team is reportedly in negotiations with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which has placed a temporary hold on its lawsuits targeting the Title 42 removals of families.
Biden has the choice to seize the initiative to end the order, as suggested by some administration officials, or allow the ACLU to sue and force the Department of Justice to defend Trump’s policy.
“That, in turn, could result in sensitive information being released through the litigation process and could be seen as contradictory to Biden’s commitment to asylum,” Axios noted.
As early as February, the Biden administration weighed ending the Title 42 order, Breitbart News revealed.
Democrats, immigration activists, human rights groups, and the ACLU have been lobbying the Biden team to eliminate Title 42.
Trump’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) implemented the order in March 2020 to discourage illegal immigration during the pandemic, a move that has been essential to reducing overcrowding in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities amid the surge.
The Biden administration already allows Title 42 exceptions to thousands of unaccompanied children, certain families, and some single adults, including those who hail from outside the Americas and others, deemed vulnerable.
Axios noted that “the policy has been applied to less than half of family encounters,” later adding, “the administration also has set up a process for exempting more migrants from Title 42 out of humanitarian concern.”
President Biden weakened the order while claiming the border is closed to non-essential travel.
Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also allows migrants removed by Title 42 to make an unlimited number of illegal crossing attempts, given the absence of traditional penalties for repeat border crossers such as felony charges and jail time.
Border officials under Biden are merely removing Central Americans back to the five-yard line in Mexico, rather than flying them to their home countries thousands of miles away like the Trump administration.
Furthermore, Biden’s CBP agency has offered migrants removed “in absentia,” after missing their court hearing in the U.S. while enrolled in Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” program ended by Biden, an invitation to return to America, potentially on U.S. taxpayer-funded flights.
The Biden administration most recently expanded a program to allow Central American economic migrants with pending asylum claims — not just approved claims — and a plethora of other qualifying categories, including migrants with “deferred enforced departure or withholding of removal” to petition the feds to bring their families to live with them in the U.S.
President Biden has made all of the policy changes to admit more migrants and release those apprehended into U.S. communities while Title 42 remains.
An unnamed White House official asserted Biden would not end the measure without CDC’s approval, Axios reported.
Echoing other Biden deputies and pro-migration groups, CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller blamed high recidivism rates among border crossers on Title 42. However, the measure does not explain why DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas chooses to return migrants to Mexico instead of flying them back to Central America as the Trump administration did.
DHS oversees the CBP and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agencies.