Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

As it happenedended1683997749

Title 42 expiration – latest: Child migrant dies in US custody as Biden under fire over immigration policy

More than 2.8m people have been turned away from Mexico border since Title 42 was enacted during the pandemic

Ariana Baio,Joe Sommerlad
Saturday 13 May 2023 18:09 BST
Title 42 immigration policy ends Thursday

An unaccompanied child migrant died while in US custody just days before Title 42, the pandemic-era policy that prevented individuals seeking asylum from entering the US on the pretext that they could pose a health risk, expired on Thursday evening.

In anticipation of the policy change, once more restoring the right to an asylum hearing, President Joe Biden enacted new immigration policies which are being harshly criticised for being too restrictive.

Under Mr Biden’s new policies, people from countries other than Mexico will have to request asylum in the country they are coming through before requesting it in the US.

Several organisations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, have filed a lawsuit against the new immigration policies saying they mimic Trump-era ones.

Over the last three years, authorities have effectively used Title 42 as a makeshift solution to the country’s ongoing border crisis, with over 2.8m people turned away since its introduction.

With the policy’s termination, many are worried border towns will become overwhelmed with migrants. Ahead of the expiration, Texas towns El Paso and Brownsville declared an emergency.


What is Title 42?

In an effort to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in March 2020, the CDC issued a public health order that allowed authorities to prevent migrants and asylum seekers at US borders from entering the country.

Over the last three years, Title 42 was used to turn away more than 2.8 million people seeking asylum from the US’s southern border.

But with the end of the Covid-19 the public health emergency comes the end of Title 42.

What was once used to manage the border will now end at 11.59pm EST, causing an influx of migrants.

Read more from The Independent:

What is Title 42 and why is it ending this week?

The Trump-era Covid policy is set to end on Thursday

Ariana Baio11 May 2023 15:28

Photos from US-Mexico border increase in asylum seekers

(AFP via Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
Ariana Baio11 May 2023 16:04

Biden’s plan to replace Title 42

Title 42 has been used as a temporary solution to the US’s border crisis for the last three years but as it comes to an end tonight, President Joe Biden will have to replace it with new policies.

Mr Biden indicated these new policies in a fact sheet released in January.

Here’s what he plans to do:

  • Expand the parole process for up to 30,000 nationals of Nicaragua, Haiti and Cuba per month who have eligible sponsors and pass background checks. These people may come to the US for a period of two years and receive work authorisation.
  • Increase the use of expedited removal to the country of origin for individuals who attempt to enter the US without permission or without a legal basis to remain. These individuals are also subject to a five-year ban on re-entry. 
  • Increase refugee admissions from Latin America and Caribbean countries. 
  • Launch a mobile application for migrants to schedule appointments to reduce wait times and crowds at US ports of entry. 
  • Increase humanitarian assistance by $23m in Mexico and Central America.
  • Open legal pathways to the US via other countries like Canada, Mexico and Spain.
  • Expand agents and active-duty military personnel to help Border Patrol.
ariana.baio11 May 2023 16:20

White House expected to conduct briefing

The White House is expected to brief reporters and respond to questions about Title 42 ending at 1pm EST today.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will be joined by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas

Ariana Baio11 May 2023 17:10

Locals in border towns call the situation ‘a real crisis'

Border towns are already overwhelmed by the number of migrants and asylum seekers hoping to cross over into the US legally and with Title 42 coming to an end tonight, many are worried for what’s to come.

“It’s a real crisis,” said Father Rafael Garcia, a priest at Sacred Heart Church in El Paso, Texas told The New York Times.

Over 600 migrants are seeking temporary shelter in El Paso as they await the end of Title 42 to then enter the US legally, according to the El Paso Times.

But without places to stay, people have made makeshift shelters on the street.

“If this is now, what is it going to look like after May 11? How is this going to unfold?” Father Garcia said.

Ariana Baio11 May 2023 17:30

WATCH: Massive line forms day Title 42 ends

Ariana Baio11 May 2023 17:50

Mayorkas says there will be ‘tougher consequences’ for illegal border crossing

In a speech, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the lifting of Title 42 “does not mean our borders are open” and indicated there will be “tougher consequences” for people who cross the border illegally.

“An individual who is removed under Title 8 is subject to a least a five-year bar on re-entry,” Mr Mayorkas said.

Under Title 42, those who attempted to cross the border would be turned away.

Mr Mayorkas sent a message to those thinking of making the journey to the border, “The smugglers care only about profit, not people they do not care about you, or your well-being.”

“Do not believe their lies. Do not risk your life and your life savings only to be removed from the United States if, and when, you arrive here.”

Ariana Baio11 May 2023 18:15

Eric Adams weakens shelter mandate as NYC anticipates more migrant arrivals

New York City Mayor Eric Adams is weakening a decades-old right-to-shelter mandate to prepare for thousands of newly arrived people in the US after the expiration of a Trump-era policy that blocked hundreds of thousands of migrants from entering the country.

The mayor’s executive order suspends a rule that guarantees shelter for families with children if requested by 10pm, and it suspends a rule that prohibits families from living in group settings. The city and state anticipate hundreds of daily arrivals with the end of Title 42, which expires at midnight on 11 May.

Alex Woodward reports:

Eric Adams weakens shelter mandate as New York City brace for Title 42’s expiration

The mayor loosens a decades-old mandate after New York ‘reached our limit’ with thousands of new arrivals

Ariana Baio11 May 2023 18:35

Homeland Security Secretary warns against illegal crossings

As Title 42’s expiration date looms, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas warned migrants about crossing the US southern border illegally by making it clear that the US’s borders, “are not open.”

Mr Mayorkas made it very clear that the lifting of Title 42 would not make it easier for those seeking asylum to enter the US - something he claims “smugglers” have lied about.

“If anyone arrives at our southern border after midnight tonight, they will be presumed ineligible for asylum and subject to steeper consequences for unlawful entry, including a minimum five-year ban on reentry and potential criminal prosecution,” Mr Mayorkas said during the White House press briefing on Thursday.

Title 42, which will be lifted at 11.59 pm EST tonight, 11 May, will end the Trump-era Covid policy that made it easier for authorities to turn away migrants at the border.

Ariana Baio11 May 2023 19:00

Brownsville Police prepares auxiliary forces as Title 42 set to end

Brownsville, Texas, a town that sits on the US-Mexico border has prepared its auxiliary forces in case they are needed as Title 42 ends tonight, 11 May, at 11.59pm.

“Our patrol division is continuing to do what they do, but in order to help out CBP we have officers who are working under a federal grant,” Martin Sandoval, Brownsville Police Department spokesperson, told CNN.

“We have our auxiliary forces ready, so our patrol services don’t get deployed, and our citizens are provided with the same service,” Mr Sandoval said.

Border towns like Brownsville are preparing for an influx of migrants and people seeking asylum.

Ariana Baio11 May 2023 19:30

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in