The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Friday released a statement that it will be lifting the pandemic-related border restriction policy, known as Title 42, on May 23.
In the CDC’s Public Health Determination, the CDC Director stated that the purpose of the policy was to ” prevent and control” the spread of COVID-19. However, “[f]ollowing an assessment of the current epidemiologic status of the COVID-19 pandemic and the U.S. government’s ongoing response efforts, [the CDC Director] find[s] there is no longer a public health justification for the August order and previous orders issued under these authorities.”
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on CNN that Title 42 is “a public health authority, not an immigration policy.” Mayorkas stated:
Once the Title 42 Order is no longer in place, DHS will process individuals encountered at the border pursuant to Title 8, which is the standard procedure we use to place individuals in removal proceedings. Nonetheless, we know that smugglers will spread misinformation to take advantage of vulnerable migrants. Let me be clear: those unable to establish a legal basis to remain in the United States will be removed.
On March 12, the CDC released a statement announcing it was dropping the section of Title 42 that dealt with unaccompanied noncitizen children.
While the response regarding the termination of Title 42 are mixed, officials at the Department of Homeland Security stated that the decision to end Title 42 was based on facts from a range of missions about a “range of items” and trends on the southwest border.