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HomeNewsWhat to know about Trump-era politics : NPR

What to know about Trump-era politics : NPR


In early April, Ukrainian refugees wait at a bus stop near the Mexican border. The arrival of hundreds of Ukrainians at the border since the start of the war has added more pressure on the Biden administration to lift Title 42.

Gregory Bull/AP

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Gregory Bull/AP

In early April, Ukrainian refugees wait at a bus stop near the Mexican border. The arrival of hundreds of Ukrainians at the border since the start of the war has added more pressure on the Biden administration to lift Title 42.

Gregory Bull/AP

The public health order known as Title 42 – based on a decades-old and once obscure law – has recently drawn attention as it is due to expire next month.

This is a welcome decision for some. Many immigration advocates and Democrats have pressured President Biden to lift it because it prevents migrants at the border from seeking asylum.

But some members of Congress, including a few close Biden allies, say it’s too soon. With the midterm elections this year, some Democrats facing tight races are expressing concern that the White House does not have enough of a plan to deal with the likely influx of migrants at the border a times title 42 lifted.

The order will be front and center when Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday. Mayorkas is expected to answer questions about his waiver, and he is likely to be pushed back by Republicans and Democrats.

As he sees renewed interest, here are some basics of Title 42 and a look at how the federal health care order has become the focus of today’s immigration debate.

What is Title 42?

Title 42 comes from a 1944 federal law intended to help prevent the spread of communicable diseases. This is what essentially empowered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to take emergency action in March 2020, allowing immigration authorities to quickly deport migrants and deny entry to asylum seekers. ‘asylum.

The Public Health Service Act 1944 established an administrative structure to enable the country to deal with national and international health problems that might arise, both in times of war and in times of peace. At the time, tuberculosis was a major public health threat to the country, and the Public Health Services Act helped provide grants for research and treatment of the disease. He also did things like establish the National Cancer Institute under the National Institutes of Health.

Overall, it’s pretty murky — and certainly not a measure imagined to work at the heart of the immigration and asylum law debate.

But in 2020, President Trump’s administration invoked the order to restrict the entry of migrants into the United States, including those seeking asylum at the southern border. The move was controversial, with many congressional Democrats decrying it as a harmful move that dismantled the country’s asylum system.

What has been the impact of Title 42 on migrants at the border?

Since it was invoked under Trump, Customs and Border Protection has recorded more than 1.7 million deportations of migrants at the border. Theresa Cardinal Brown of the Bipartisan Policy Center calls Title 42 “the primary tool” for managing border migration under the Trump and Biden administrations.

About half of those “who were encountered at the border last year were deported under Title 42,” she told NPR in March.

Title 42 has also made it difficult to obtain an accurate count of migrants trying to enter the United States. That’s because many migrants tried to cross multiple times in the same month and then were counted more than once, Mayorkas said.

When should Title 42 be lifted?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced earlier this month that Title 42 would expire on May 23.

But if Congress wanted to change course on Title 42 and delay it legislatively, it could.

In fact, some Republican members of Congress have attempted just that. A COVID-19 aid package stalled in early April when Republicans tried to extend the order. Congress left for the Easter recess before fixing the issue, and the aid package did not pass. Lawmakers are returning this week and many are expected to regain their focus to try to keep it in place.

Additionally, there is a bipartisan bill that was introduced earlier this month that would push back the expiration of Title 42.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said any delay on lifting Title 42 would require congressional action.

What happens at the border once it is lifted?

In a word: influx.

Government officials are bracing for a surge of migrants at the border once the order is lifted. This will “likely cause a significant increase in arrivals” to the southwest border, according to a strategic plan released last month by the Department of Homeland Security.

And some agency estimates say they will see 18,000 border arrests a day, more than double the average number of daily arrests last summer.

“Every time Title 42 is lifted, it’s likely, almost certainly, there will be an increase,” Doris Meissner, who directs the US immigration policy program at the Migration Policy Institute, told NPR. “It will be, whatever happens, perceived by future migrants, and especially by smugglers, as the moment to come.”

To prepare, the Department of Homeland Security released a sweeping plan that places more law enforcement officials on the southern border, increases their capacity to deal with new arrivals, and implements more vaccination efforts against COVID-19.

This is Trump-era policy. What was Biden’s take?

Immigration advocates have criticized Biden for months and long pressed him to lift Title 42. But, despite promising fairer immigration practices, the administration has actually delayed the policy. of the Trump era and defended the use of Title 42 in court.

Last month, the administration agreed to let unaccompanied migrant children cross the border but continues to block all other migrants, even families.

While Democrats in Congress have openly declared an end to Title 42 for months, the Biden administration has repeatedly insisted — and continues to insist — that Title 42 is a public health order and not a immigration policy.

In March, when Ukrainians began trying to cross the US-Mexico border after fleeing the war, the pressure on Biden grew even more.

Democrats were generally opposed to Title 42 in 2020. Why are some now saying it shouldn’t be lifted?

Many other Democrats and Democratic candidates for Congress have expressed trepidation about the lifting of Title 42 next month.

Senators like Gary Peters of Michigan and Mark Kelly of Arizona say they want more of a plan from the White House on how to handle the influx of migrants at the border. Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware recently said he hoped the lifting of Title 42 would be “appropriately reconsidered” if there was a further increase in COVID-19 cases.

Kelly and others have signed a bill with Republicans to delay lifting Title 42 for at least another 60 days. As the midterm elections approach, there are fears that Republicans will once again make immigration and the border a hot topic, and that worries vulnerable Democrats.

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