THE NEW YORK TIMES – The Biden administration is in the later stages of planning how to phase out a Trump-era public health rule that has allowed border agents to rapidly turn away most migrants who have arrived at the southern border during the pandemic, according to two administration officials.
It is possible that in the coming weeks, border officials could start allowing migrant families back into the country, with an eye toward lifting the rule for single adults this summer.
The plan, while still not final, is sure to complicate an already thorny issue for President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Harris is visiting the border on Friday as Republicans accuse the administration of being slow to address what they describe as an unrelenting surge of migrants trying to enter the country. Lifting the rule will only exacerbate that.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, border agents have turned away migrants nearly 850,000 times under the public health rule, known as Title 42, which immigration and human rights advocates call unnecessary and cruel, particularly for those seeking asylum.
Migrant families have been turned away more than 80,000 times since the rule was put in place in March 2020, according to government data.
The White House has deflected questions about how much longer the rule will remain in place, saying it is up to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which issued the policy.
An agency spokeswoman referred questions about the rule to the White House.
Mr. Biden, who has promised a more humane approach to immigration enforcement, decided not to continue the Trump administration’s policy of expelling children who arrived alone at the border.
Single adults and many families, however, have continued to be turned away because of the public health rule, whose stated purpose is to prevent the coronavirus from spreading at points of entry or Border Patrol stations.
Still, some migrant families have been allowed into the United States because Mexico or their home countries refuse to take them back … Click here to read more (subscription may be required)