COVID-era border policy could expire as soon as Tuesday

Immigration

WASHINGTON (NewsNation) — The Trump-era policy that allows border officials to turn away migrants at the southern border, known as Title 42, is expected to expire as early as Tuesday after months of legal back and forth that began when the Biden administration sought to end the policy in the spring of 2022.

The controversial policy allows border officials to turn away some asylum seekers because of public health concerns brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Supreme Court last Monday temporarily stopped Title 42’s expiration, citing those same public health concerns. Indications were the policy would be lifted Tuesday, likely meaning an increase in migrant releases, according to NewsNation’s partner Border Report.

The Biden administration has yet to lay out any systemic changes to manage an expected surge of migrants if the restrictions end. And a bipartisan immigration bill in Congress has been buried just as Republicans are set to take control of the House.

The restrictions have been used more than 2.5 million times to expel migrants who crossed into the U.S. and to turn away many of those requesting asylums at the border.

In El Paso, Texas, record numbers either crossed undetected or were apprehended and released in recent weeks.

In response, the Texas National Guard was deployed this week at the border in downtown and will stay through Christmas. The city’s shelters are already packed beyond capacity and many migrants were forced to camp out in the streets in below-freezing weather.

Anyone who comes to the U.S. has the right to ask for asylum, but laws are narrow on who actually gets it. Under Biden, migrants arriving at the border are often let into the country and allowed to work while their cases progress. That process takes years because of a 2-million-case backlog in the immigration court system.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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