Title 42 is a public health authority that was invoked by former President Donald Trump in March 2020, allowing the administration to crack down on illegal immigration at the border. It has been used by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to immediately return migrants to Mexico or their home countries without giving them the opportunity to apply for asylum or other forms of protection in the U.S. The Biden administration has continued to use Title 42, but there are calls from some lawmakers and advocacy groups to end the policy, which Biden appears to be leaning into.
Ending Title 42 would result in a surge of illegal immigration and create a security crisis at the southern border. This would put a significant burden on border patrol agents, who are already overwhelmed by the current level of illegal crossings. With the end of Title 42, the number of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers would increase, leading to longer wait times for processing and a greater risk of violent crime and human trafficking.
Ending Title 42 would also be a further blow to the already weakened U.S. economy. The influx of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers would put a strain on local communities, leading to increased demand for social services and a burden on taxpayers. The influx would also lead to a decrease in job opportunities for Americans, as illegal immigrants would be willing to work for lower wages.
Biden’s Decision to End Title 42 Could Cause Chaos at the Southern Border
President Joe Biden is planning to end the public health authority known as Title 42, which has been in place since mid-2020 and has helped control waves of illegal immigration amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this decision has been met with concern, as Title 42 has been a crucial tool in ensuring that federal immigration officials could quickly return illegal aliens to Mexico, thus preventing the spread of COVID-19.
The Negative Implications of Ending Title 42
With the end of Title 42, experts predict that close to 400,000 border crossers and illegal aliens could flood the border every month, which is a much higher figure than the resident population of New Orleans. Border Patrol agents have expressed concern that the only deterrent to illegal immigration is Title 42, and with its removal, millions of people will be released into the United States, contributing to the administration’s already expansive Catch and Release network. Moreover, the lifting of Title 42 will create a draw factor, leading to an increase in illegal immigration.
As per a proposed federal rule, the DHS Office of Immigration Statistics estimates that daily border encounters could reach an average of 11,000 to 13,000 once the Title 42 public health order is lifted, assuming no further policy changes, saying:
“DHS Office of Immigration Statistics projects that [border] encounters could average 11,000 to 13,000 per day after the lifting of the Title 42 public health order, absent additional policy changes,”
Concerns over Safety and National Security
The end of Title 42 raises concerns over the safety and security of American communities. The administration’s decision not to put any policies in place to control illegal immigration is alarming, as this lack of action will only exacerbate the situation. Moreover, given the administration’s recent struggles to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, the removal of Title 42 could lead to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the United States.
National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd appeared on Fox News this week, saying:
“You first have to consider that the only deterrent that we currently have is Title 42…
When you look at the total number of people that are crossing the border illegally and are being released into the United States, we have already released millions of people into the United States — not thousands, millions of people.
The only thing that has allowed us to keep that at bay is Title 42 … so once Title 42 goes away, that 40 percent are going to be released into the United States as well. But it’s not just that, it’s going to be the draw factor … even more people are going to come.”
“So whereas we’ve released close to four million people into the United States since Biden has been in office, we can expect that number to double in the next two years… it’s crazy to see what’s going on and it’s crazy to see that this administration hasn’t put anything into place to help us get this under control.”
Alternatives to Ending Title 42
Many experts suggest that converting Title 42 to fight the nation’s deadly fentanyl crisis, which kills more than 100,000 Americans every year, would be a more viable solution. This proposal has received backing from House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green (R-TN), as well as Senate Republicans like Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Joni Ernst (R-IA). However, Green has not yet filed legislation to convert Title 42.
The decision to end Title 42 is ill-advised, as it could cause chaos at the southern border, create a draw factor for more illegal immigration, and potentially lead to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the United States. As such, the administration must put policies in place to control illegal immigration, and lawmakers should consider alternatives to ending Title 42, such as converting it to combat the deadly fentanyl crisis.