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Democrats Take Initiative To Press The DHS To End Title 42.pdf (69.21 kB)

Democrats Take Initiative To Press The DHS To End Title 42

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posted on 2023-07-28, 19:03 authored by Rachel Zelicof

What is Title 42? During the Covid-19 pandemic, Title 42 served as a border policy that permitted the exclusion of migrants and asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border. [1] This policy was implemented by the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) as a way to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Many immigration advocates argue that this policy has “denied migrants the chance to seek asylum, which is a human right under the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights” [2]. Yet, this controversial policy has yet to be terminated by the Biden Administration. In December 2022, the Supreme Court approved an effort by 19 GOP states to block the termination of Title 42. [2]

What is being done about Title 42? Recently, Hispanic House Democrats Correa, Espaillat, and Garćia urged the Department of Homeland Security to be prepared to handle the influx of immigrants after Title 42 is terminated. [1] These representatives wrote to Congress “We hope you will continue to work with Congress to ensure the Department has the resources, tools, and support it needs to treat all migrants with dignity and respect” [1]. There has yet to be concrete action taken to hold GOP states and the DHS accountable for their actions. Unfortunately, since Title 42 has yet to be terminated, there has been a steep decline of illegal border crossings among Venezuelans, Nicaraguans, Cubans, and Haitians in January [1]. However, recently the Title 42 policy has been used to rapidly expel migrants about 2.8 million times, that is 2.8 million people including children and families that have been denied asylum in the United States. [1]

Court Case Relevance: A relevant case to this topic is Arizona et al. v. Mayorkas. Petitioner, the state of Arizona claimed that the Title 42 policy of the Public Health Services Act was illegitimate and wanted to intervene to challenge the district court’s order. The respondent, Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, will be defending the court’s actions. The decision is pending on this case, but it is important to note that this issue is now up for debate in the Supreme Court. Title 42 was meant to protect the public from contagious disease, but does the banning of immigrants make this policy illegitimate? [3]

Some key facts within this case are that the Biden Administration initially extended the policy, before announcing that it would be terminated. A federal judge in D.C. upheld that this policy was illegal and ordered that President Biden put a stop to this policy immediately. The U.S. Court of Appeals upheld that states could not intervene with this policy matter. Interestingly, the Supreme Court did in fact grant the states’ request to hold the ruling. [3]

Implications: As many immigrant advocates have noted, Covid-19 is no longer a prevalent issue and the reason for delaying the termination of Title 42 is simply illegitimate. There is going to be a massive influx of immigrants coming to the border once Title 42 is ended. If the DHS is not equipped to handle the amount of immigrants then it will lead to a crisis. It is not fair that the DHS could be denying immigrants basic care and needs for food, water, and shelter. Thus, it is necessary that we hold the DHS accountable for its actions and prevent a crisis before it unfolds.

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