The administration claimed order as the policy lapsed. Title 42 also barred migrants from applying for asylum. The policy expired at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday night.
The Trump administration put the plan into effect during the COVID pandemic under a 1944 law that allows the federal government to restrict migration in the name of public health. It was put into effect in May 2020 in the name of stopping the spread of COVID-19. It was used 2.7 million times by border agents.
At one point before Title 42 expired Border Patrol officials reported having 27,000 migrants in custody.
Joe Biden Has a Problem
The Biden administration downplayed the expiration. No estimate of the number of migrants who entered following the end of the policy was stated.
“We continue to encounter high levels of noncitizens at the border. But we did not see a substantial increase overnight or an influx at midnight,” Blas Nuñez-Neto, an assistant secretary for border and immigration policy at the Department of Homeland Security, told reporters Friday.
Reports showed illegal migrants being given care packages that included cellphones they could use to go through the virtual screening process under CBO-One. The Biden administration is now using Title 8 to remove anyone who cannot provide legal justification for being in the country will be removed.
Under the replacement policy, the Biden administration is denying migrants asylum if they did not first apply for asylum in a country they passed through. It says it will accept 30,000 people per month from Venezuela, Haiti, Nicaragua and Cuba if they come by air and have a sponsor and apply online first. The administration will allow 100,000 Guatemalans, Salvadorans, and Hondurans into the U.S. who have family in the U.S. to stay if they apply online. At least 30,000 migrants per month will be sent back to Mexico according to administration estimates.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters on Friday that 24,000 Border Patrol agents were placed along the border to respond to the expected surge.
“People who do not use available lawful pathways to enter the U.S. now face tougher consequences, including a minimum five-year ban on re-entry and potential criminal prosecution,” Mayorkas said. “Together with our partners throughout the federal government and Western Hemisphere, we are prepared for this transition.”
Competing Legal Actions Make Their Way Through the Courts
A federal judge in Florida hit the Biden administration with an injunction against releasing thousands of migrants in federal custody in a last-minute ruling on Thursday. U.S. District Judge T. Kent Wetherell ordered the Department of Homeland Security to stand down from its plan to release migrants without vetting in response to a lawsuit brought by the State of Florida against Mayorkas.
“… In both instances, aliens are being released into the country on an expedited basis without being placed in removal proceedings and with little to no vetting and no monitoring,” Wetherall, a Trump appointee, wrote in his ruling.
The judge ruled there was no appreciable difference between a prior policy the administration had planned to implement and one that was struck down by the court in March.
“DHS is exercising all available authority to address the anticipated surge in migrants, but its available staffing and facilities to safely process and issue charging documents to record numbers of new arrivals are limited,” Politico reported the Biden legal team including Brian Boynton, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, as having said. “In the face of an imminent crisis, DHS must make use of all available statutory authority Congress has granted it to process migrants, including parole.”
The San Francisco-based Center for Gender & Refugee Studies filed a lawsuit on behalf of the migrants in federal court claiming its new Title 8 rule was the same as a Trump-era policies blocked by the courts.
“The filing argues that asylum laws do not allow the administration to restrict access to asylum based on an individual’s manner of entry or whether they applied for asylum elsewhere,” the organization said in a statement.
John Rossomando is a senior analyst for Defense Policy and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.