by Kaylee Greenlee
The Biden administration is considering ending a Trump-era public health order that’s allowed border officials to rapidly expel most migrants from Mexico on July 21, Axios reported Sunday.
The public health order, Title 42, was implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 and border officials have expelled tens of thousands of migrants under the rule, according to Axios. Immigration advocacy groups and Democrats have criticized the Biden administration for the policy and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials protested using the order to expel migrants arriving at the border, Axios reported.
“It’s not a tool of immigration policy,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said of Title 42 during a trip to Mexico City Tuesday, Reuters reported. He added that the order would remain in effect as long as it would benefit public health.
Customs and Border Protection officials expelled around 295,000 migrants at the southern border under Title 42 from February through April, according to the agency. Less than half of all migrant families encountered since March have been subject to Title 42 expulsion because of Mexican shelters refusing to accept them, according to Axios.
Title 42 was implemented to stop the spread of COVID-19 between countries, though increasing vaccination rates in the U.S. combined with slowing infection and death rates have made the policy harder to defend, Axios reported.
The U.S. donated 1.35 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to Mexico, where officials say they will be available to residents in four border towns, the Associated Press reported Tuesday. Mexican officials said there’s no reason to continue restricting non-essential travel once the doses are administered.
The CDC will determine when to lift Title 42, an unnamed White House official reportedly told Axios. The CDC did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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Kaylee Greenlee is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.