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The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the Title 42 public health policy can remain in effect, allowing Border Patrol to continue quickly deporting unauthorized migrants.
The Ruling: The court voted 5-4 in favor of preserving the policy while legal challenges play out. It’ll likely remain in place for at least several months. Conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the court’s three liberals in dissent, saying that “the current border crisis is not a COVID crisis.”
The Policy: Title 42 was created in 1942 to allow the government to combat the introduction of contagious diseases into the U.S. Specifically, it gives the surgeon general and president “the power to prohibit, in whole or in part, the introduction of persons and property from such countries or places as he shall designate in order to avert such danger, and for such period of time as he may deem necessary for such purpose.” It was enacted by former President Donald Trump amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Border Crisis: Migrant arrivals along the U.S.’s southern border continue to break records, and the possible end of Title 42 could lead to even more. There were 233,740 migrants apprehended along the border last month, a 1% increase from October’s monthly record and the highest number of border crossings ever recorded for the month of November. Some border communities have declared states of emergency as crossings continue and migrant shelters overflow. The Biden administration is reportedly planning more work on immigration reform in 2023.
Right-rated outlets continue to frame the border crisis as a national security issue and a product of the Biden administration’s purported failure to enact and enforce immigration policy. Left-rated sources focus more on the migrants and their personal struggles, and often frame the policy as inhumane because it puts asylum seekers in danger.
More from AllSides:
Snippets from the Center
“Title 42 is used most to expel migrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The process, however, largely depends on whether the migrants’ countries of origin agree to take them back. While the Biden administration has argued for an end to Title 42, it has estimated that as many as 18,000 migrants would enter the country each day once the rule is lifted.”
“Policy makers would be wise to scrap the pandemic-era Title 42 order. It’s accomplished the opposite of what proponents promised, leading to more frequent and less predictable migrant inflows. Since a Title 42 expulsion carries no reentry penalty, repeat crossings roughly quadrupled in 2021 compared to their 2019 rate.”
Snippets from the Left
“Last month, a federal judge in Washington set aside the Trump rule adopted in March 2020, holding it can no longer be justified now that the pandemic has faded. His decision would have lifted Title 42 and gave hope to thousands of migrants who had come to the U.S.-Mexican border anticipating they would be able to make a claim for asylum. But the court on Tuesday blocked that decision from taking effect.”
“Title 42 has fundamentally transformed U.S. immigration policy and the U.S.-Mexico border along with it. For Biden, it’s both a logistical crutch and a moral liability, as his administration has returned migrants to some of Mexico’s most dangerous cities, where they have been subject to kidnapping, extortion and violence. It’s also become the subject of nonstop legal wrangling.”
Snippets from the Right
“Lee Gelernt, deputy director for the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, criticized Title 42 and claimed people are “overstating” what’s happening at the border…While several people celebrated the decision, the ACLU condemned the ruling, and Gelernt continued to criticize Title 42 as well as Republicans and others for ‘overstating’ the situation.”
“The administration has used Title 42 as a sort of political football. It maintains the policy when convenient, then announces it will drop it to appease open-borders activists. The law will remain on the books for the time being, but it’s clear the administration won’t employ it aggressively, nor will it take other serious steps to get illegal immigration under control.”
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