The Biden administration plans to lift Title 42 in a massive border policy overhaul. Title 42 expulsions for migrant families should stop by the end of July. Once the public health order is lifted, those families that request asylum at the border will be allowed to remain in the U.S. for the duration of their case. Still, government officials plan to continue expelling single adults under Title 42 for the next few months, as they make up the largest population of those attempting illegal border crossings. The administration is also planning a phased reopening of nonessential travel ports of entry along the border this summer, which were also shut down due to the pandemic.
The Biden administration has resumed lateral expulsion flights, transporting migrants crossing the border in high-traffic areas to lower density regions. This practice has been largely criticized by immigration advocates as many times immigrants are led to believe that they will be staying in the U.S., only to be dropped off in an unfamiliar area where they do not necessarily have any resources or connections. DHS had previously suspended lateral expulsions as a part of the ongoing negotiations over Title 42, and for now will only be placing single adult migrants on lateral flights.
The Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General released a report which documented cases of ICE agents expelling separated parents without their children, despite knowing that those parents wanted their children with them. The report also notes that it was unclear whether or not ICE gave some parents the option to reunify with their children before being expelled from the U.S. These cases occurred under the Trump administration’s family separation program. Between July 2017 and July 2018, as many as 348 parents were expelled from the U.S. without their children, with no documentation of whether they had agreed to be separated.
Due to pressure from advocates and a lawsuit raised by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Biden administration has conceded to narrow changes to Title 42 expulsion policies. These changes include an end to both lateral expulsion flights and late night expulsions. The Biden administration has also agreed to allow up to 250 vulnerable migrants into the U.S. per day, working with a consortium of nongovernmental organizations to identify at-risk migrants. These concessions are meant to buy the Biden administration time before the public health order is fully lifted.
Close to 400 migrants expelled from the United States have begun camping out at a plaza in Reynosa near the international bridge.
Migrants are being expelled into dangerous Mexican border cities in the middle of the night, which is outside the cutoff times of 8/10 pm and violates the US-Mexico repatriation agreement.
President Biden said that he is negotiating with Mexico to take back more families expelled from the United States under Title 42.
Asylum-seekers being flown from the Rio Grande Valley to El Paso due to limited capacity are being expelled to Mexico by CBP, according to the Dallas Morning News. Exact numbers are unclear, but at least 50 migrants have been expelled into Juarez.
The first few weeks of the Biden administration have seen an uptick in ICE’s deportations of Haitian migrants, with dozens of asylum seekers being dropped off in Mexico without processing or credible fear interviews. Others, including children and infants, are being sent back to Haiti, which is experiencing mounting political violence due to U.S-backed president Jovenel Moïse attempting to extend his term.
President Biden released executive orders creating a task force on family separation and calling for a review, with intent to end, “safe third-country” agreements, Title 42, the Remain in Mexico program, and other Trump policies restricting migration. The administration has not yet committed to ending these policies. One order calls for a new policy framework to address migration’s root causes in Central America.
- The New Humanitarian releases a briefing on how the actions of the Trump administration to cut off access to asylum will outlast the pandemic and affect not only asylum seekers but regions of Latin America that have suffered outbreaks due to the United States’ expulsions.
- According to unpublished government data obtained by CBS News, the United States allowed only 39 unaccompanied migrant children to stay in the country in the month of May when there were over 1,000 arrests of unaccompanied children. Jennifer Nagda, a policy director at the Youth Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, argues that because of these record-low rates, the Office of Refugee Resettlement can and should offer refuge to unaccompanied children during the pandemic, as the Office now has ample bed capacity.
- The Texas Civil Rights Project and ACLU file a lawsuit on behalf of a Salvadoran teenager arguing that the expulsion policy violates several federal laws, including one designed to shield minors from violence and exploitation.
- UNICEF releases a report regarding the over 1,000 unaccompanied children expelled to Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras since March. UNICEF calls on the U.S. to end the deportations of unaccompanied children, as well as those “without prior adequate protection and health screenings.” UNICEF urges governments to take additional concrete measures to protect the wellbeing of uprooted children in general.
- Led by Amnesty International, multiple NGOS release an explainer on U.S. deportations and expulsions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- NPR releases a two-part series investigating the increasing pressure put on refugees seeking safety in the United States from the southern border. It follows migrants waiting in Ciudad Juárez who are living through the United States’ rapid policy changes, and also focuses on the support the Trump administration receives from the Mexican government despite public rejection of U.S. policies.
- Over 50 public health experts sign a letter for Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and CDC Director Robert Redfield urging U.S. officials to withdraw the order first issued on March 20 that has enabled the mass expulsion of asylum seekers. As the nation’s leading public health experts at the forefront of the response to the novel coronavirus, they stress that the order is based on “specious justifications” and fundamentally fails to protect public health.
- The Washington Post reports that, according to unpublished U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services data, only two people seeking humanitarian protection at the southern border since March 21 have been allowed to stay. Over 20,000 migrants have been “expelled” in the same timeframe.