There has been a lot of news lately about Title 42 regarding immigration at the U.S./Mexican border. Several politicians, including President Joe Biden, immigration advocates, and the CDC, have requested that it be lifted. Just the same, several courts have refused.
What is Title 42, and how is it harming those coming to the United States seeking asylum?
Origins of Title 42
Though most people had never heard of Title 42 until the past few years, it was actually enacted in 1944 as a public health policy. It states that the United States can expel anyone in our country that has recently traveled here from a country with a high transmission rate of infectious diseases.
Tuberculosis was a serious health threat in the 1940s, and public health officials used the act in an attempt to control its spread. At that time, the U.S. surgeon general held the authority to enact the order. The responsibility transitioned to the CDC in 1966.
Since then, it was largely forgotten until it was re-enacted in 2020 in response to people coming across the southern border while trying to control the spread of disease in the United States. The goal was to prevent overcrowding at immigration centers.
In the past several months, most countries, including the United States, have lifted travel restrictions for people traveling from other countries. Yet, Title 42 remains in effect along the border.
Therefore, any immigrant traveling through Mexico to reach the United States to seek asylum risks expulsion back to Mexico. This is in direct conflict with U.S. policy guaranteeing the right of those coming to the country seeking protection from violence and conflicts in their home country.
The battle regarding the lifting of Title 42 continues in the courts and the halls of Congress. In the meantime, border officials are preparing for the influx of immigrants anticipated once restrictions are lifted. At this point, they expect to see almost a doubling of the current daily average.
If you’re an immigrant seeking asylum in the United States, make sure that you have experienced legal guidance on your side.