background_fid.jpg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

The legacy of Title 42

 In this Friday, Feb. 26, 2021 file photo, a migrant family wearing face masks crosses the border into El Paso, Texas, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. (AP Photo/Christian Chavez)
In this Friday, Feb. 26, 2021 file photo, a migrant family wearing face masks crosses the border into El Paso, Texas, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. (AP Photo/Christian Chavez)

A controversial immigration policy meant to keep COVID-19 out of the U.S. is set to end next month.

Title 42 stopped asylum seekers from entering the United States. But some experts say COVID-19 cases — and border crossings — actually went up.

“Title 42 is like an effort to tread water until things get better. But very clearly, Title 42 has made things worse,” Aaron Reichlin-Melnick says.

Thousands of migrants were left stranded, unable to go back home.

“We’ve tracked nearly 10,000 cases of asylum seekers and migrants who’ve been subjected to kidnappings torture, rape and other brutal attacks during the time that the Biden administration has been in office due to the Title 42 policy,” Eleanor Acer says.

But despite claims of the policy causing a humanitarian crisis, U.S. lawmakers claim lifting Title 42 will cause a different crisis here at home.

Today, On Point: The legacy of Title 42.

Guests

Eleanor Acer, director of the Refugee Protection program at Human Rights First, where she oversees research and advocacy on issues relating to refugee protection, asylum, and migrant rights. (@AcereEleanor)

Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, senior policy counsel at American Immigration Council. Author of A Guide to Title 42 Expulsions at the Border and Ending Title 42 and Creating an Orderly Asylum System. (@ReichlinMelnick)

Harold Koh, former senior advisor on the State Department’s legal team under Biden. Professor of international law at Yale Law School. In an internal memo, Koh called the use of Title 42 “illegal” and “inhumane.” (@haroldhongjukoh)

Monette Zard, director of the program on Forced Migration and Health at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health. (@MonetteZard)

Also Featured

Honduran woman seeking asylum in the U.S. who was expelled to Mexico due to Title 42.

Related Reading

Columbia’s Program on Forced Migration and Health: “Epidemiologists and Public Health Experts Reiterate Urgent Call to End Title 42.”

Human Rights First: “Tracker of Reported Attacks During the Biden Administration Against Asylum Seekers and Migrants Who Are Stranded in and/or Expelled to Mexico.”

Columbia’s Program on Forced Migration and Health: “Public Health Recommendations for Processing Families, Children and Adults Seeking Asylum or Other Protection at the Border.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.