The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended a Trump-era policy allowing for migrants to be expelled across U.S. borders, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 risks. The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement that Title 42 is not an immigration authority, but a public health authority dictated by the CDC.
In their statement that Title 42 “shall remain in effect until the CDC director determines that the danger of further introduction of COVID-19 into the United States from covered noncitizens has ceased to be a serious danger to the public health, and the Order is no longer necessary to protect the public health.”
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky signed the order that replaces an October 2020 order. The CDC said the policy would be reviewed every 60 days to ensure it is still necessary. The policy allows U.S. officials to send migrants back to Mexico without the chance to seek asylum or other protections in the United States.
Hours before the CDC’s announcement, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that President Joe Biden views Title 42 as a public health measure.
“The CDC is going to continue to provide guidance on how long it needs to be in place,” she said at a press briefing. “We have not given a timeline of when they will lift Title 42, but we will look for them to provide us that guidance.”
As record levels of migrant children, families and adults continue to come to the U.S.-Mexico border, the Biden Administration has used Title 42 to turn away the majority of migrants. In June, CBP encountered a yearly high of migrants at 188,829.