Statement from Congressman Castro on the Planned Termination of Title 42
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) released the following statement on the Biden administration’s plan to end the Title 42 mass migrant expulsion order on May 23, 2022:
“Bringing Title 42 to an end is the right decision. Over the past month, Americans have committed to welcoming families fleeing from brutality and war in Ukraine. That generosity was a fulfillment of our nation’s promise to be a beacon of freedom to the world, and I commend the Biden administration’s realization that maintaining Title 42 is untenable. Every asylum-seeker deserves to have their case considered in a manner consistent with U.S. and international law.
“During the last administration, Donald Trump and his enablers undermined our legal immigration system and created a crisis at the border by forcing legitimate asylum-seekers to attempt dangerous transnational crossings. Today, we are still trying to repair the damage that Trump inflicted on our country.
“This month, Democrats voted for hundreds of millions of dollars to improve migrant processing. I look forward to seeing additional action from the Biden administration to build a secure immigration system that treats migrants with respect and decency.”
In a statement released today by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas noted that DHS is increasing their capabilities to provide COVID-19 vaccines to migrants, process new arrivals, and evaluate asylum requests in advance of the termination of the Title 42 order.
Earlier this week, Congressman Castro led a letter from leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) urging the Biden administration to bring Title 42 to an end. To read the letter, click here.
In March 2020, the Trump administration issued a migrant expulsion order under Title 42, a provision of U.S. public health law that allows authorities to suspend immigration if there is a serious risk that communicable diseases could spread from foreign nations to the United States. Issuing Title 42 stripped millions of their right to seek asylum – a right that is guaranteed under U.S. law.
In May 2020, reporting from The New York Times revealed that long before the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump White House officials were looking at Title 42 as a possible vehicle to restrict legal immigration to the United States.
Public health experts have sharply criticized the Title 42 order, arguing that it plays no meaningful role in preventing the spread of COVID-19. In January 2022, experts from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health wrote that “The Omicron variant highlights that community transmission within the US, and not introduction of the virus from Mexico, is driving the spread of COVID-19, and that public health authorities need to focus on mitigation measures that are known to work. Title 42 is not among these measures and, if anything, makes matters worse.”
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