Immigration

Biden, Like Trump, Uses the Pandemic To Expel Migrants

Title 42 expulsions are a cruel and indiscriminate pandemic mitigation measure.

|

As COVID-19 burst onto the scene in March 2020, then–President Donald Trump told the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue an order allowing Customs and Border Protection to expel migrants on public health grounds. Although immigration advocates have decried that measure as illegal and inhumane, President Joe Biden has kept it in place.

The Public Health Service Act, which Congress added to Title 42 of the U.S. Code in 1944, gives federal health authorities the power to issue orders aimed at controlling the interstate and international spread of communicable diseases. The CDC has used that authority to bar people seeking asylum from entering through Canada and Mexico. In practice, it has been used almost exclusively at the southern border. As of July 2021, more than 1 million migrants had been expelled under the CDC order.

The rate of repeat crossings also has sky-rocketed because a Title 42 expulsion, unlike a formal deportation, carries no reentry penalty. That rate "tended to hover around 10 percent" prior to the CDC order but hit 38 percent in May 2021, according to Danilo Zak of the National Immigration Forum.

Critics say the policy violates longstanding asylum legislation and international frameworks protecting the rights of migrants. U.S. asylum law "guarantees [migrants] the right to apply at any port of entry," says Cato Institute immigration analyst David J. Bier. Title 42's immediate expulsion authority means migrants can't present their cases.

In early March 2020, the Associated Press reported, Martin Cetron, head of the CDC's Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, refused to support the order, saying it was unlikely to slow the spread of COVID-19. The A.P. also reported that the idea of sealing the border originated with Trump adviser Stephen Miller, an anti-immigration hardliner.

The Biden administration nevertheless has maintained the policy under the guise of fighting COVID-19. "There are ways to protect public safety without turning away vulnerable families fleeing unspeakable horror," insisted Paola Luisi of the National Domestic Workers Alliance in a statement. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees offered a rare public criticism of U.S. border policy, noting that many other countries had enacted policies "to simultaneously protect both public health and the right to seek asylum."

Title 42 expulsions are a cruel and indiscriminate pandemic mitigation measure. An administration avowedly committed to "following the science" and treating migrants humanely should not support such a policy.

NEXT: Brickbat: Paper Chase

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Title 42 expulsions are a cruel and indiscriminate pandemic mitigation measure.

    You are right it is: nobody entering the US illegally from Canada or Mexico should be allowed to remain in the US or apply for asylum; that’s because Canada and Mexico are safe third countries.

    1. How unfeeling you are to expect people fleeing unspeakable horrors to follow rules. Such a cruel application of cold reason.

      1. I hear that Brazil is a pretty horrible place to live on welfare this time of year.

        1. I made over $700 per day using my mobile in part time. I recently got my 5th paycheck of $19632 and all i was doing is to copy and paste work online. this home work makes me able to generate more cash daily easily.UJh simple to do work and regular income from this are just superb. Here what i am doing.

          Try now……………… VISIT HERE

      2. Hey Guys, I know you read many news comments and posts to earn money online jobs. Some people don’t know how to earn money and are saying to fake it. You trust me. I just started this 4 weeks ago. I’ve got my FIRST check total of $850, pretty cool. I hope you tried it.UYk You don’t need to invest anything. Just click and open the page to click the first statement and check jobs .. ..

        Here what I do………. VISIT HERE

        1. I made over $700 per day using my mobile in part time. I recently got my 5th paycheck of $19632 and all i was doing is to copy and paste work online. this home work makes me able to generate more cash daily easily.ZXv simple to do work and regular income from this are just superb. Here what i am doing.

          Try now…………… READ MORE

      3. Cruel? What’s cruel about it? As Democrats keep telling us, the US is systemically racist and run by white supremacists! Those poor refugees would be far better off in Mexico and Canada!

    2. ^THIS… EXACTLY…. +100000000000

  2. Why fucking even mention Biden at all and just assign it as a continuation of Trump?

    1. Because fuck Trump and Biden!

  3. Just to state the obvious, if you don’t let them in, you don’t need to expel them.

    1. What a simpleton. If you don’t let them in, OBL and Charles Koch can’t make any money.

    2. Not let them in!? Do you realize we’re in a massive Worker Shortage right now? How do you expect to fix that without a massive minority underclass for cheap labor?

      1. Eliminate the vaccine requirements to work, or expel unvaxed illegals. Be consistent.

        1. The only consistency of this whole shitshow is the fact that they seem to be consistently incompetent. There is some bigger picture scheming going on, but most of the people doing this shit are just fuckups that are too stupid to realize they aren’t helping. Many are knowingly pissing on the little guy to enjoy the power trip, but there are a ton of morons with way too much power.

      2. Go back to 13 weeks of unemployment, at 85% of past wages.

    3. Maybe just build a wall. And make them pay for it.

      1. Bet you’re glad biden has now spent 150 million paying people to not build the wall.

  4. “In practice, this has been used almost exclusively at the southern border…”

    Perhaps, that is because Canada has been committed to making its borders impermeable during the pandemic to a much greater extent than the US has. Perhaps, Canada is a completely different situation for alleged asylum seekers than Mexico is.

  5. Dems have never been pro immigration. Reagan was the only one I can think of who did something positive. Those conservatives are long gone.

    Politically it is a losing issue. Nobody cares about these people.

    1. Can you explain WHY we should care? The world is not our problem and we do not wish to try and solve all world issues.

    2. Yeah, that’s why the Dems have those sanctuary city policies. They just want you to think they support illegal immigrants… Never mind the fact that they want to change the demographics down the road in their favor.

      Reagan’s amnesty was a mistake, and even he would agree today. It was supposed to end the issue once and for all, but had the opposite effect – illegal immigration skyrocketed afterwards.

    3. Politically it is a losing issue. Nobody cares about these people.

      We do care about “these people”: they should stay in the safe countries where they were before crossing illegally into the US. They should stay in safe countries where they speak the language and where they have a hope of going back to the country they fled from.

      It’s evil pricks like you who are responsible for the thousands of deaths and the misery and alienation that these people experience, and the harm all of this causes to Americans. You are cruel and unfeeling.

    4. I remember Reason saying America can’t be the world’s policeman. Well America can’t be the world’s lifeboat either. Safe third country requirement works just fine.

  6. Fuck right off, Reason.

  7. Expel all illegal aliens. They do not belong here. The only exception I’d consider: Let the Dreamers stay (but not their family members who are illegal aliens), and give them a path to citizenship.

    1. Why exactly? If you’re illegal you can’t vote and can barely assess social services. You most likely working a low wage job which is a huge service. We ought to be thanking people who work for low wages.

      1. “We ought to be thanking people who work for low wages.”

        That’s about the best summary of Koch / Reason libertarianism I’ve ever seen.

        #LibertariansForPayingPeople30CentsPerHour

      2. Next thread you’ll be calling for a $50 minimum wage.

      3. Ditto. People act like undocumented aliens can get welfare. First off, welfare is at the state and county level, so why are they making this a Federal issue? Second, they can’t get welfare anyway. Only citizens can. I mean, duh.

        They are required to send their kids to school, and they pay sales taxes, and if they can manage to get a paycheck then they’re paying withholding and FICA that they can never get back.

        1. Their kids get federal benefits retarded fuck. Usually expanded to illegal parents at the state level.

          Likewise feds pay states for costs of hospitals and prison services of illegals retarded fuck. Often not at the full cost but still a federal cost.

          How ignorant are you brandy?

        2. This is absolutely false, and has been proven and reproven false. They can’t legally get welfare, which has absolutely nothing to do with whether they do or not.

          It is well known within communities of illegal immigrants that welfare and other services can be had through the acquisition of fake IDs and other mechanisms.

          I was just on the phone to my boss who is a Polish immigrant to this country, and he got to talking about how it was absolutely commonplace for Polish immigrants in the Chicago area who were here illegally or overstayed their visa to get services and fake IDs as there were extensive networks of people who would help them through the process.

          This claim that illegal immigrants don’t get welfare because it’s illegal is a bit like “there is no voter fraud” while you blindly accept every ballot as legitimate. Simply going through the welfare rolls and looking to see if everyone has an ID doesn’t tell you anything about who on that list might actually not be eligible for it.

          Now, it’s a perfectly reasonable discussion to suggest that it’s not a significant drain on the welfare system, because if we don’t have any clear numbers then it’s impossible to say.

          Plus there’s the uncomfortable situation where if they have legal children in this country, their children are eligible for benefits– benefits which in essence are benefitting the parents.

        3. When I was in HS and College it was illegal for me to buy, sell or smoke pot (wink wink) which even then was probably ten times harder for me as citizen to get then for an illegal to game the system from top to bottom. And why are we required to accept their kids into the schools they are required to send them to? Oh that’s right, the same S. Ct. that gave us Separate but Equal and Woman have no rights at all and Dred Scott is property, upholding Obamacare and same Sex marriage, – gave us yet another bat sheet decision that made no sense too.

        4. Second, they can’t get welfare anyway. Only citizens can. I mean, duh.

          That’s bullshit. The US has many welfare programs, many of them in-kind and non-cash, and illegal aliens are eligible for many of them. Illegal aliens even qualify for cash benefits under the EITC.

          On top of that, they receive almost all the government services other residents receive: roads, education, emergency healthcare, etc.

          if they can manage to get a paycheck then they’re paying withholding and FICA that they can never get back

          You think that employers who violate immigration law are going to withhold FICA?

      4. Because arguing for a permanent underclass like you are doing is really gross.

      5. Are you naturally this stupid, or do you really work at it? = If you’re illegal you can’t vote and can barely assess social services.

        Sullum, you are one dumb shit.

      6. If you’re illegal you can’t vote and can barely assess social services.

        That’s simply false. We spend massively on supporting illegals, on top of the $25000 that every American citizen costs the tax payer simply by breathing. And their kids automatically become US citizens.

        You most likely working a low wage job which is a huge service.

        Countries with lots of low wage workers are, by definition, poor countries. I mean, listen to Democrats complaining about how wages have stagnated, meaning that the average has stagnated. Well, those illegals contribute substantially to that.

        We ought to be thanking people who work for low wages.

        No, we should not. These people could work for the same “low” wage in whatever country they came from and help that country develop. Instead, people like you treat them like disposable slave labor in the US and in the process cost US taxpayers massive amounts of money and depress American wages.

        People like you are the architects of the economic and social problems we have in the US.

  8. Give it some time. It’s only been a few months. Shit is still unsettled. We fucking airlifted half of Afghanistan by the way. Never enough is it. You mfers clearly have an agenda.

    1. Biggest. Airlift. In. History.

      Biden’s brilliant handling of Afghanistan would be the defining triumph of literally any other President. But with this Administration it’s merely one of many smashing successes. He’s also liberated and dismantled concentration camps and shut down a deadly virus.

      #LibertariansForBiden

      1. You forgot to add we all have more money now.

      2. Once again, those damn facts keep getting in the way.

        The Berlin Airlift officially ended on 30 September 1949 after fifteen months. The US Air Force had delivered 1,783,573 tons (76.40% of total) and the RAF 541,937 tons (23.30% of total)
        Details; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin_Blockade

    2. We fucking airlifted half of Afghanistan

      And left Americans and SIVs behind.

    3. This is what an apologia looks like.

      1980s HOMELESSNESS IS ALL GEORGE BUSH’S FAULT.
      November 9, 1992: Homelessness is a complex issue that can’t be solves with simple platitudes.

  9. So the cure to COVID-19 seems to be to either immigrate to another country illegally or participate in a mass protest for Social Justice. Amazing how COVID-19 and all the concerns and precautions around it just don’t apply when they get in the way of the progressive agenda.

    Sorry lady, but you need to start lifting the arbitrary restrictions on people living here before you push to lift them on wholly unvetted strangers. It’s like he doesn’t know how disease spreads or something.

  10. Biden, Like Trump, Uses the Pandemic To Expel Migrants

    But he does it without mean tweets, so it’s all good.

  11. And in other news; illegal border crossings set new records.
    Heaven forbid the national government actual do some of their job.
    Maybe they can just start banning salt instead.

  12. Just say it and be honest about it: You do not believe that nation-states have a right to control immigration into their countries. Stop using specific instances of immigration to cover for your true beliefs on the matter. Just stop.

    1. They can’t say that out loud yet.

    2. Hel, their overarching thesis is that all laws are wrong or at least should never be enforced. Would love to get Fion’s opinion after 72 hours in a place where her “advocacy” was remotely true.

  13. If I read just the text and had no clue who wrote this drivel, and what site published it, my first three guesses would be a libertarian and reason.com.

  14. SCUM! SCUM! GO BACK TO WHERE FROM!

  15. This article seemingly authored by a child.

  16. Why resort to such linguistic gymnastics? Be honest — you sympathize with immigrants and you don’t want laws stopping them. “Expel” is a stretch when applied to people who haven’t actually landed at the place from which you say they are being expelled. And “Migrant” is a euphemism. These people are not migrants. They are aliens and potential immigrants. Migrant is used for itinerant salespeople or legal farmworkers and college students and the like. And healthwise, here Title 42 is “cruel” yet you probably look down on people who don’t wear masks in your own neighborhood.

    And be honest — these are not asylum seekers. These are people who want a better life in the U.S., not people in fear of reprisal from their own government or in fear of very specific harm by returning to their home. And be consistent — if you think it’s OK for immigrants to falsely seek “asylum” under asylum law to cross the borders, why is it not OK for the government to “falsely” use Title 42 law to help enforce current immigration law, while there is actually a good case to be made for public health . This entire exercise has nothing to do with asylum. That’s some clever article writing.

  17. US law forbids asylum for economic reasons. Political persecution is a reason. It is not cruel and heartless to obey the law. If you don’t like a law, there is a process to change it, you do not just disobey the law.
    A “refugee” is any person who is outside his or her country of nationality (or, if stateless, outside the country of last habitual residence) and is unable or unwilling to return to that country because of persecution or well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.
    https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/asylum/asylum-law-and-procedure

Please to post comments