With the clock winding down on Title 42, there are many questions circulating about what the end of the policy means for the United States’ border security.
The policy was one instated by the Trump administration in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and has been in place since. With its expiration upon us, the immigration policy is going to look different for the United States, with migrants already lining up to enter the country.
Here are some commonly asked questions about Title 42 answered.
Title 42 dates back to 2020 under the Trump administration. This policy allowed US officials to turn away migrants who came to the U.S.-Mexico border because of health concerns. This was established during the pandemic and was put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Prior to Title 42, migrants would cross the border, enter the country and were screened. They were then often released into the United States while they waited for their immigration case to be heard. This changed after Title 42, as migrants were sent back over the border. Under Title 42, U.S. officials sent over two million migrants back.
Under Title 42, if individuals were deported, they did not face any penalties, leading many to try entering the country multiple times.
Title 42 continued under the Biden administration with some changes while COVID-19 was still considered to be a national emergency. May 11 marked the day that the pandemic was no longer a national emergency, which in turn, marked the end of Title 42.
Title 42 officially ends on Thursday, May 11 at 11:59 p.m. With Title 42 ending, the country has been expecting a large volume of migrants attempting to cross the border. In preparation, 1,500 active-duty troops were sent to the U.S.-Mexican border to assists Border Patrol agents.
Title 8 is the immigration law that has been reinstated due to the expiration of Title 42. At its core, Title 8 outlines polices for migrants who are entering the United States. It outlines guidelines they must meet to do so and penalties they could face for not following the policy. Since Title 42 has ended, the country will be going back to pre-pandemic immigration policies, in other words Title 8 of the U.S. Code.
The Biden administration has warned of stricter penalties for illegal border crossing under Title 8.
One of the biggest changes under Title 8 compared to Title 42 is what happens to those who cross the border illegally. An individual who illegally enters the country under Title 8 multiple times could face criminal charges.