Illegal Title 42 Expulsions May End on May 23 Due to Collaborative Advocacy Efforts

IJDH lauds immigration and human rights advocate colleagues and organizations nationwide, whose collective, years-long efforts, in which IJDH participated, resulted on April 1, 2022 in an important Biden administration announcement involving the notorious “Title 42.” Although celebration is premature until at least May 23, Title 42’s end may finally be in sight.

As of April 1, President Biden had expelled about 21,000 Haitians to Haiti on 212 separate flights, the vast majority of them under Title 42. These huge numbers far outstrip those of his predecessors. And Title 42 expulsions are unfortunately continuing as this is written.

“Title 42” is shorthand for an infamous, Trump-imposed Center for Disease Control directive, under Title 42 of the United States Code, which enables the government to circumvent and ignore immigrants’ legal rights to seek political asylum in the United States, in the name of pandemic rationales which public health experts and scientists have consistently said are unnecessary.

As IJDH and many others have pointed out, Title 42 is widely considered racist in origin and impact. It is a politically expedient end-run around immigrants’ rights to seek political asylum and fair hearing protections.

On April 1, the Biden administration announced that it intends to stop expelling people under Title 42 effective May 23, 2022. To advocates’ dismay, it did not announce the directive’s immediate end, so Title 42 mass expulsions to Haiti and elsewhere will continue until at least May 23, likely expelling hundreds more Haitians before that date.

And anti-immigrant zealots have already filed the expected court challenge to the administration’s plan, which has landed before a conservative, Trump-appointed federal district court judge, so it isn’t clear that Title 42 will actually end on May 23, even if the administration follows through on its intention, which it has failed to do in the past.

Nevertheless, unless the federal court challenge succeeds, it looks as if, effective May 23 but unfortunately not earlier, the Trump-imposed directive known as Title 42, which is continuing to send so many Haitians back to Haiti in violation of their rights, may finally end. IJDH and our allies have fought hard for this goal, as have hundreds of advocates and organizations nationwide, without whose efforts this hopeful development would not have occurred. We will keep you posted!