President Joe Biden’s administration is announcing the end of COVID-19 pandemic policies for illegal migrants before he does so for American citizens.
Last week, Biden’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it would end Title 42, which allows authorities to expel immigrants at the border due to a public health emergency, effective May 23. However, the administration still has a number of COVID-19 restrictions in place that affect Americans, including mask mandates on public transit.
Title 42 allows the federal government to turn away asylum seekers at the border if “there is a serious danger to the introduction of [a communicable] disease into the United States.” It has been utilized by authorities since March 20, 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic was sweeping through the United States, to prevent mass border crossings from Latin America into the U.S.
In a statement, the CDC said the pandemic has “shifted to a new phase” in which the expulsion of migrants to keep out COVID-19 is no longer necessary, due in part to the widespread availability and uptake of vaccines, tests and other mitigation efforts.
Title 42 was one of the last tools available for federal officials to stem the record tide of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers crossing the southern border since Biden began stripping away immigration restrictions upon entering office last year. A number of public officials, elected officeholders of both parties and immigration experts have warned that ending Title 42 will result in an even greater surge at the border.
Based on what I am being told by officials in South & Central America expect Biden’s decision to end Title 42 to lead to the biggest migration crisis in U.S. history
It’s not just what Title 42 technically does,it’s what migrants think getting rid of it means
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) April 4, 2022
The CDC is ending Title 42 with national daily COVID-19 cases at an average of around 26,000 and deaths around 600. Average deaths have been at or around that level multiple other times during the pandemic when Title 42 was not lifted, according to CDC data. (RELATED: Three State AGs Sue Biden Administration Over Title 42 Decision)
Despite apparently believing the pandemic is no longer such a threat that migrants potentially carrying COVID-19 should be turned away at the border, the CDC still believes it is necessary to impose some restrictions on Americans. Last month, the CDC advised the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to maintain its mask mandate on public transportation, including airline flights, until at least April 18. Passengers traveling to the United States from another country via airlines are required to present a negative test or proof of recent recovery from the virus to board.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is still asking Democrats in Congress to allocate tens of billions more dollars to combatting the pandemic at home and around the world, and just last week touted the launch of COVID.gov as a one-stop-shop for guiding Americans through the pandemic.