Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas released the following statement in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) determination that it will, effective May 23, 2022, terminate its Title 42 public health Order. Pursuant to its Title 42 authority, the CDC has, since March 2020, required the expulsion of unauthorized single adults and family units arriving at the land borders in order to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
“Title 42 is not an immigration authority, but rather a public health authority used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to protect against the spread of communicable disease. Title 42 remains in place until May 23 and, until then, DHS will continue to expel single adults and families encountered at the Southwest border.
“Once the Title 42 Order is no longer in place, DHS will process individuals encountered at the border pursuant to Title 8, which is the standard procedure we use to place individuals in removal proceedings. Nonetheless, we know that smugglers will spread misinformation to take advantage of vulnerable migrants. Let me be clear: those unable to establish a legal basis to remain in the United States will be removed.
“We have put in place a comprehensive, whole-of-government strategy to manage any potential increase in the number of migrants encountered at our border. We are increasing our capacity to process new arrivals, evaluate asylum requests, and quickly remove those who do not qualify for protection. We will increase personnel and resources as needed and have already redeployed more than 600 law enforcement officers to the border. We are referring smugglers and certain border crossers for criminal prosecution. Over the next two months, we are putting in place additional, appropriate COVID-19 protocols, including ramping up our vaccination program.
“The root causes fueling irregular migration predate today’s announcement, and we have experienced increases in migration over the past decade and long before. DHS is always preparing for the ebb and flow of migration patterns. We will continue to work with countries throughout the Western Hemisphere to offer safe and legal pathways for migrants seeking protection or resettlement, streamline repatriations, address root causes, and take enforcement actions against the smuggling networks that entice migrants to take the dangerous and often deadly journey to our land borders.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to pursuing every avenue within our authority to secure our borders, enforce our laws, and stay true to our values. Yet a long-term solution can only come from comprehensive legislation that brings lasting reform to a fundamentally broken system.”