Washington ( Associated Press) — Centers for Disease Control announced on Friday that it was ending a policy that limited asylum at the US-Mexico border to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The use of public health powers was widely criticized by Democrats and immigration advocates as an excuse for the United States to meet its obligations to provide shelter to people fleeing persecution. The policy came into force under President Donald Trump in March 2020. Since then, migrants trying to enter the US have been expelled more than 1.7 million times.
The policy, known as the Title 42 Authorization named after the 1944 Public Health Act to Prevent Communicable Disease, will expire on paper, but it won’t take effect until May 23, to give border officials time to prepare. The Associated Press first reported the change earlier this week.
It was becoming increasingly difficult to scientifically justify the policy as sanctions ended across the US
The federal order said efforts by the Department of Homeland Security to provide vaccines to migrants at the border would intensify over the next two months.
“After considering current public health conditions and the increasing availability of equipment to fight COVID-19 (such as highly effective vaccines and therapeutics), the CDC director has determined that the right to introduce migrants to the United States should be suspended. The command is no longer necessary. CDC said in a statement.
This decision is expected to bring more migrants to the US-Mexico border. Even before it was officially announced, more than a dozen migrants cheered ran out of his dorm at the Good Samaritan shelter in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, asking about it.
The DHS said this week that about 7,100 migrants were arriving daily, compared with an average of about 5,900 migrants a day in February – matching or higher than levels last year, 2019 and other peak periods. But border officials said they are planning more than 18,000 arrivals daily, and that certainly poses challenges for border-area Democrats in a tight election race. — with some caveats that the Biden administration is unprepared to handle the situation.
Homeland Security said it created a Southwest Border Coordination Center to respond to any sharp escalation, with Maryanne Tierney, a regional director for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as interim leader and a Border Patrol officer as deputy.
Officials are also working on additional ground and air transport options and tents to help the expected influx, and the Border Patrol is already working on civilians.
Instead of patrolling and uncovering smuggling activity, its agents spend about 40% of their time already in custody looking after people and administrative tasks that are not related to border security.
The agency hoped that they would free up agents to return to the area to hire civilians for jobs such as ensuring that burritos were properly served in the microwave, checking holding cells and immigration. The time-consuming task of gathering information for court papers.
Still, administration officials acknowledged that the reforms are only temporary measures.
“The Biden-Harris administration is committed to pursuing every path within our right to protect our borders, enforce our laws, and stay true to our values,” said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Meyerkas. “Yet a long-term solution can only come from comprehensive legislation that brings permanent reform to a fundamentally broken system.”
The limits went into effect under the Trump administration in March 2020 as coronavirus cases soared. While officials said at the time that this was a way to keep COVID-19 out of the United States, there has always been criticism that the sanctions were used by then-President Donald Trump as an excuse to seal the border for unwanted migrants. it was done. It was perhaps Trump’s most comprehensive action to restrict crossings and crack down on migrants.
CDC officials last month lifted part of the order, which put the limit on children going to the border alone. In August, US border officials began testing children traveling alone in their busiest areas: Positives fell to 6% in the first week of March, from about 20% in early February.
Asylum limits have been imposed unevenly by nationality, depending largely on costs and diplomatic relations with home countries. Many migrants from Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and, more recently, Ukraine have been spared. Homeland Security officials wrote to border officials this month that Ukrainians could be exempt, saying Russia’s invasion “created a humanitarian crisis.”