Consultants for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are begging President Joe Biden to end border controls at the United States-Mexico border, joining the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the United Nations.
Early last year, former President Trump invoked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Title 42 order that gives federal immigration officials authority to quickly detain and return border crossers to their native countries.
Joining a chorus of open borders advocates, Dr. Scott Allen and Dr. Pamela McPherson — both of whom serve as consultants for DHS — have sent a letter to House and Senate lawmakers claiming Title 42 is spurring “substantial danger to the health and safety of immigrant children and their families that is a direct consequence of current asylum and detention processes.”
Allen and McPherson write:
The CDC’s top scientists and expert epidemiologists found no legitimate basis the public health basis for implementing Title 42 even at the time of its implementation at the beginning of the pandemic. There is even less of a public health justification now, when, more than a year later, arriving asylum seekers could be easily screened and tested, and currently those over 16 vaccinated, in a way that protects the public health. [Emphasis added]
The COVID-19 pandemic no longer requires the blunt instrument of Title 42, especially while that policy has the consequence of forcing asylum seeking families to choose the “lesser” risk of sending their unaccompanied minor children into the U.S. detention system over the risks of violence in their own countries and the Mexico border that have driven them to seek asylum in the first place. Title 42 forces this choice among asylum seeking families, and by consequence, it not only creates a flow of children into U.S. detention, but also results in de facto separation of children from their families, just on the Mexican side of the border. [Emphasis added]
Already, the Biden administration has increasingly allowed thousands of border crossers to escape Title 42 expulsion. For example, in October 2020, the Trump administration expelled about 91 percent of all apprehended border crossers from the U.S. under Title 42.
Likewise, in November 2020 and December 2020, the Trump administration was expelling about 85 to more than 88 percent of apprehended border crossers from the U.S. under Title 42.
Compare those totals to that of the Biden administration’s, which expelled just 63 percent of all apprehended border crossers in April under Title 42. Since Biden took office, the administration has been invoking Title 42 less and less with 74 percent expelled in February and 63 percent expelled in March.
The DHS consultants demand that Biden end Title 42 comes after United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi urged the administration to open the U.S.-Mexico border to border crossers from around the world.
“I appeal to the government of the United States to swiftly lift the [Title 42] public health-related asylum restrictions … and to restore access to asylum,” Grandi said last week:
The Title 42 order has resulted in the expulsions of hundreds of thousands of people to Mexico or their countries of origin, denying their access to asylum procedures. Guaranteed access to safe territory and the prohibition of pushbacks of asylum-seekers are core precepts of the 1951 Refugee Convention and refugee law, which governments are required to uphold to protect the rights and lives of refugees. The expulsions have also had serious humanitarian consequences in northern Mexico. [Emphasis added]
For months, the ACLU has been suing to have Title 42 thrown out while asking Biden administration officials to end the policy.
This week, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra suggested that the administration is reviewing plans to end Title 42. Breitbart News exclusively reported months ago that top DHS officials were lobbying Biden to end the CDC order.
While Biden’s DHS, led by Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, continues exempting more and more border crossers from Title 42, House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) is asking the administration to detail in full the criteria they are using to exempt border crossers from Title 42.
“Not only could these exceptions incentivize additional illegal entries in the U.S., but once paroled into the country, these foreign nationals can seek employment authorization,” Jordan’s letter states.
In February, a group of House Democrats said the Biden administration ought to end Title 42 and instead release those border crossers into the U.S. interior to ensure that the Chinese coronavirus does not spread more to Mexico and Central America.
Analysis from April found that, based on current levels, an estimated 1.2 million illegal aliens are expected to be encountered at the southern border this year. This does not include the hundreds-of-thousands of illegal aliens who will successfully illegally enter the U.S. interior without being detected by federal immigration officials.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.