Aug 2, 2021 - Politics & Policy

CDC extends policy allowing fast-track deportations

Photo of a Border Patrol officer with a migrant next to a parked van that says "Border Patrol"
Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday extended a controversial Trump-era policy that expels migrants to prevent the spread of COVID.

Why it matters: The Biden administration has faced backlash for retaining the Title 42 policy, which allows border officials to turn back migrant families to Mexico without the chance for asylum. The ACLU on Monday asked a court to end the administration's use of Title 42.

  • The Biden administration had planned to end the policy last month but reconsidered as coronavirus cases began to surge due to the Delta variant.
  • In the first half of the year, migrant adults were expelled more than 350,000 times under the order.

What they're saying: "Title 42 is not an immigration authority, but a public health authority, and its continued use is dictated by CDC and governed by the CDC's analysis of public health factors," the CDC said in a statement.

  • "Under Title 42, DHS continues to expel the majority of single adults, and, to the extent possible, families encountered at the Southwest Border," the agency noted.
  • "While we continue to defer to public health experts on decisions related to Title 42, the Biden-Harris Administration continues to work to build a fair, orderly, and humane immigration system, including by expanding lawful pathways to the United States and discouraging irregular migration."

The other side: "The administration said it just needed a little bit of time to repair the damage done to the asylum system by the Trump administration," the ACLU's lead attorney on the case Lee Gelernt told Axios on Monday. "It’s now been seven months and there is no end in sight to the Title 42 policy."

Worth noting: Mexican officials have resisted the continuation of Title 42, while two prominent advocacy groups have stopped working with the Biden administration on humanitarian exceptions over concerns about the policy, AP reports.

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