Since it was enacted in March 2020, Title 42 has been used to turn away more than 1.7 million migrants at the Mexico-US border. Doctors Without Borders in Mexico report that Title 42 leaves migrants stranded in highly insecure conditions.
“It is a xenophobic policy disguised as public health protection that does nothing but put vulnerable people in harm’s way. There is no excuse for continuing to misuse the order to turn away asylum seekers and block their right to seek protection.”Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
Title 42 was used as the justification for an unprecedented mass deportation of Haitian asylum-seekers at Del Rio, Texas in fall 2021, when thousands of newly-arrived migrants were sent back to Haiti, where resources and humanitarian aid are severely lacking. In response, the US special envoy to Haiti resigned in protest, calling the mass expulsions “inhumane.” More recently, Ukrainians seeking to enter the US by way of Mexico have been confronted by the hurdles Title 42 places in the way of asylum seekers.
A Repeal is Blocked
The measure was first invoked by the Trump administration at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and had been repeatedly extended by the Biden administration. The Biden administration finally set out to lift the restrictive measure last May, but Louisiana U.S. District Judge Robert R. Summerhays, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, ruled that Title 42 stay in place. The White House says it intends to appeal that decision.