The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) decided Friday to keep the Trump-era policy of expelling illegal immigrants due to the spread of COVID-19.
The rule, known as Title 42, allows the administration to expel illegal immigrants who recently were in a country where a communicable disease was present. Data from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection show that at least one million people have been expelled since it was initiated in early 2020.
“The current reassessment examined the present impact of the pandemic throughout the United States and at the U.S. borders, taking special note of the surge in cases and hospitalizations since December due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant,” a CDC spokesperson told The Epoch Times in an email.
The agency “continues to emphasize the need for testing, vaccination, and other mitigation measures at border facilities beyond the use of the Order,” the statement added.
In a statement Friday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) confirmed it will continue to use Title 42 to expel single adult illegal immigrants and families traveling with children.
“Title 42 is a public health authority, not an immigration authority, and its continued use is thus dictated by the CDC,” DHS said. “DHS will continue to defer to public health experts on decisions related to Title 42 while continuing to develop safe, legal, and orderly pathways for migration.”
Although President Joe Biden’s administration has rescinded dozens of Trump-era immigration rules, including completing construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, the White House has vigorously sought to keep Title 42 amid criticism from activist groups and other Democrats.
The Department of Justice is actively fighting in court to keep Title 42 intact. In late January, the Justice Department told a court that “the government’s goal is to get back to a state of orderly immigration processing for everyone, but currently, in CDC’s view, the public health realities don’t permit that.”
However, some Democrat lawmakers have called on the Biden administration to rescind the policy.
“Ultimately, the use of Title 42 deprives legitimate asylum seekers of their legal right to seek asylum and pursue their claims in the U.S., and its extended use has created unsafe conditions for vulnerable migrants, increased the number of dangerous border crossings, and has prevented the Biden Administration from fulfilling its early commitment to restore access to asylum,” Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said in a statement Tuesday.
COVID-19 is the illness caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.