What is Title 42?
This pandemic-era policy — which has been used by both the Trump and Biden administrations to rapidly expel arriving asylum seekers without providing them an opportunity to seek humanitarian protection — proved to be an ineffective border management tool. Its use significantly increased the rate of repeat border crossings and undermined effective border enforcement. Title 42 expulsions were a boon to cartels and smugglers at the border, returning vulnerable migrants into dangerous situations that have led to thousands of kidnappings, rapes and violent assaults.
Title 42 failed to treat arriving migrants with dignity or to create a secure and orderly border. This policy only reduced order at the border, put migrants in danger, and benefited smugglers and cartels.
While many vulnerable migrants were expelled under Title 42, others were exempted from the policy for humanitarian reasons or because they came from countries where they could not be rapidly returned.
What will the end of Title 42 mean for the border?
Without a plan in place, we’ll likely see higher numbers of migrant crossings at the US-Mexico border with the end of Title 42.
The Border Patrol could face overcrowding – with thousands of individuals, including asylum seekers and unaccompanied children, waiting for a long time in short-term Border Patrol detention facilities.
This poses delays in protections for asylum seekers and exhausts already overwhelmed border agents and local border communities.
What are some solutions?
The urgent need for collaborative border solutions has never been clearer. Democrats and Republicans in Congress must come together to make much-needed fixes to our immigration system, including addressing border security and management. Without meaningful reform, our border infrastructure will continue to be strained by security, logistical, and humanitarian complications.
We need Congress to reform our immigration system to deal with modern migration patterns and modernize other aspects of our immigration laws. We need Congress to act now.