Apr 1, 2022 - Politics & Policy

CDC: Pandemic-era border policy to end in May

Migrants and asylum-seekers march to protest against Title 42 policy heading to the Mexican side of the San Ysidro Crossing port. Photo: Guillermo Arias/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration is officially ending its use of Title 42, a pandemic-era public health policy to expel migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday.

Driving the news: The policy, used by both the Trump and Biden administrations during the pandemic, will end May 23, according to the CDC.

  • "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," Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.
  • “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," Mayorkas said.

The big picture: The government has a sweeping contingency plan, preparing for a worst-case scenario of up to 18,000 migrants being taken into custody each day as a result of the policy's end, Axios' Stef Kight reports.

  • The CDC cited the decreased risk that migrants would contract or spread COVID-19 in detention facilities as rationale for ending the policy.

What he's saying: "We are increasing our capacity to process new arrivals, evaluate asylum requests, and quickly remove those who do not qualify for protection," Mayorkas said.

  • "We will increase personnel and resources as needed and have already redeployed more than 600 law enforcement officers to the border. ... Over the next two months, we are putting in place additional, appropriate COVID-19 protocols, including ramping up our vaccination program."

Go deeper: Pandemic-era border policy expected to end in late May

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