President Joe Biden has taken action to end the use of Title 42, a health law implemented during the Covid pandemic, as a means of controlling immigration at the borders with Mexico and Canada. Instead, the administration is introducing a comprehensive plan aimed at promoting legal pathways for migrants and discouraging illegal entry through deterrence and diplomacy.
Here are some of the policies and requirements that the Biden administration is implementing or plans to implement as Title 42 comes to an end:
- Replacement of Title 42 with Title 8: The administration will revert to using Title 8, the section of U.S. law that deals with immigration and nationality at the borders, which was in place prior to the pandemic.
- Strengthening Penalties: Penalties allowed under Title 8 for illegal border crossings will be enforced, with fines ranging from $50 to $250 and imprisonment for six months to two years. Repeat offenders will face higher fines and penalties, particularly for those with criminal records.
- Asylum Process Enhancements: Individuals seeking asylum must schedule appointments through the CBP One phone app, with an expanded number of daily appointments available. Stricter rules will be applied to asylum applications, requiring proof of prior application in third countries and rejection, along with attempts to schedule appointments through CBP One.
- Humanitarian Parole: Haitians, Venezuelans, Nicaraguans, and Cubans with U.S. sponsors will have the opportunity to apply for humanitarian parole, enabling them to work in the country for two years.
- Expediting Processing: Additional asylum officers and immigration judges will be deployed to expedite processing times. “Credible fear interviews” will be conducted earlier in the process, and legal services will be provided to facilitate expedited removals.
- Military Support: 1,500 active-duty military personnel will be deployed to assist Border Patrol with paperwork processing.
- Administrative Support: Contractors and non-uniformed employees will be hired to support administrative tasks traditionally carried out by Border Patrol agents.
- Enhanced Capacity and Removals: Border Patrol capacity for housing migrants will be expanded, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement removal flights will increase, particularly for certain countries where doubling or tripling flights will be implemented.
- International Processing Centers: Processing centers will be established in countries such as the U.S., Canada, Spain, and others, where individuals can apply for legal immigration.
- Strengthened Border Security: Increased personnel from Panama, Colombia, and the U.S. will be stationed in the Darien Gap region to combat smuggling and deter migrants attempting to reach the U.S. through this route.
- Family Reunification: Legal pathways will be created to enable families from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Colombia to reunite with their family members in the U.S.
- Cooperation with Mexico: An agreement with Mexico will be implemented to accept more migrants who are turned away at the U.S. border.
President Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas view these measures as significant steps toward border security in the absence of comprehensive immigration action by Congress.