Biden Keeps Trump-Era Border Policy Blocking Hundreds of Thousands of ‘Noncitizens’

Biden admin implements Trump’s Title 42 expulsion policy in response to CDC’s warning of “serious danger” at the U.S. southern border.

QUICK FACTS:
  • The U.S. southern border is being overwhelmed by surging illegal border crossings.
  • In response, the Biden administration will leave in place a Trump-era public health rule (Title 42) that has ensured the blocking of hundreds of thousands of illegal border crossings into the U.S., according to The New York Times (NYT).
  • Title 42 allows U.S. officials to send migrants back to Mexico without offering asylum or other protections in the United States, according to Reuters.
  • Border officials are calling the persistent pace of illegal migration into the country a “humanitarian crisis,” notes NYT.
  • The decision was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday.
  • The CDC said that allowing illegal immigrants through the border “creates a serious danger” of further spread of the coronavirus, according to NYT.
  • The CDC renewed Title 42 on Monday, notes Reuters, “issuing an updated version of the order that called for the measure to be reevaluated every 60 days, rather than 30 days.”
THE BORDER CRISIS:
  • The number of times border officials caught migrants crossing illegally in June was the highest monthly figure since April 2000, notes NYT.
  • U.S. Border Patrol “informed the police department that on July 25, 2021 they had surpassed 1 million apprehensions in the month of June,” according to CBS DFW.
  • The National Sheriffs Association said that “up to half of undocumented immigrants are infected with the deadly disease,” notes Reuters.
WHAT BORDER OFFICIALS ARE SAYING:
  • Assistant secretary for border and immigration policy at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) David Shahoulian said keeping the CDC’s public health order to mitigate illegal border crossings in place is “critical” given the current conditions, according to NYT.
  • The United States “is currently encountering record numbers of noncitizens, including families, at the border. These encounter rates have strained DHS operations and caused border facilities to be filled beyond their normal operating capacity, impacting the ability to employ social distancing,” said Shahoulian in an official declaration.
  • Shahoulian goes on to say that “DHS is also experiencing significantly increased rates of noncitizens testing positive for COVID-19,” so taking away Title 42 “would exacerbate overcrowding at DHS facilities and create significant public health risks.”
  • “The department lacks sufficient capacity to safely hold and process all individuals seeking to enter the United States during the global pandemic if the U.S. Government were restricted in its ability to implement the CDC order [Suspending the Right to Introduce Certain Persons from Countries where a Quarantinable Communicable Disease Exists],” he said.
  • “During this period and given the unique public health danger posed by the ongoing pandemic, implementation of the CDC Order is critical to preventing overcrowding and the spread of infection within DHS facilities,” Shahoulian concludes.
  • Read the full declaration below:

Declaration of David Shahoulain by Jon Fleetwood on Scribd

DEMOCRATS PUSH BACK AGAINST BIDEN:
  • Biden has come under intense pressure for months from his own party and supporters of liberal immigration policies to lift Title 42, reports NYT.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said on Monday it would sue the Biden administration to lift Title 42.
  • Lead ACLU lawyer Lee Gelernt said, “It is now clear that there is no immediate plan to do that,” adding “The administration made repeated public statements that it just needed some time to build back the asylum system the Trump administration depleted. We gave them seven months. Time is up.”
BACKGROUND:
  • The Trump administration implemented Title 42 over a year ago.
  • The Biden admin has departed from Trump’s policy in that it has not applied to migrant children arriving alone at the southern border, notes NYT.
  • Biden stepped up enforcement at the southern border over the weekend, sending more officers.

Jon Fleetwood is Managing Editor for American Faith.