The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Friday confirmed it is using Title 42 to fly illegal immigrants from the U.S.-Mexico border into Mexico’s interior.
Title 42 is the COVID-19-related rule created under the Trump administration that can be invoked to expel single adults and some families who crossed the border illegally, allowing for the rapid deportation of illegal aliens due to the pandemic. The rule was extended last week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A spokesperson for the agency, which oversees Customs and Border Protection (CBP), told The Epoch Times that “as part of the United States’ mitigation efforts in response to the rise in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant, the Department of Homeland Security has begun to transport individuals expelled under Title 42 by plane to the Mexican interior.”
“DHS continues to expel the majority of single adults and, to the extent possible, families encountered at the Southwest Border as required by CDC Order under the CDC’s Title 42 public health authority,” the spokesperson added. “Following an assessment of the current status of the COVID-19 public health emergency, CDC replaced and superseded its prior orders on August 2, 2021.”
The flights were first reported by Reuters, which cited anonymous officials. About 200 Mexican and Central American family members who illegally entered the United States were expelled deep into Mexico on Thursday by immigration officials. The DHS spokesperson did not confirm or deny the report.
In June, there were more than 188,000 illegal immigrant encounters along the Southern Border, according to CBP data. The next monthly report from CBP is expected to say that more than 200,000 encounters were made in July.
So far, more than 1.1 million apprehensions have been made so far along the border this year, said the agency.
Illegal immigration is shaping up to be a key issue for the 2022 midterm elections and perhaps the 2024 presidential election, with Republicans repeatedly hammering the Biden administration over the surge in illegal crossings that began shortly after President Joe Biden took office.
They’ve argued that the administration’s messaging and orders that rescinded key Trump-era immigration rules have caused the spike. Starting in January, President Joe Biden has issued dozens of executive orders, including one that did away with the “remain in Mexico” protocols and another that suspended construction of the border wall.
Biden and Democrats, meanwhile, have argued that the federal government must target the “root causes” of why people are trying to enter the United States illegally. President Donald Trump’s immigration policies such as the border wall, Biden has said, are inhumane, unnecessary, and tantamount to wasteful spending.
About a week ago, Vice President Kamala Harris, who was tapped by Biden to head his immigration effort, released a strategy that is intended to address the root causes of illegal immigration. The strategy claims that the COVID-19 pandemic and “extreme weather conditions” have exacerbated the causes.
“In Central America, the root causes of migration run deep—and migration from the region has a direct impact on the United States,” Harris wrote in a cover letter about the plan.