As reported by the Washington Free Beacon, the Biden White House plans to use one of the immigration statutes enacted during the Trump administration to send back some of the more than 14,000 illegal immigrants still camping under the International Bridge at Del Rio, Texas.
The Department of Homeland Security plans to use Title 42, first activated by President Trump in March 2020, as legal authority to expel some primarily Haitian migrants who illegally entered the U.S. by walking across the Rio Grande.
Title 42 authorizes Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents to immediately expel illegals from the country without judicial hearings if they present a “serious risk” of infectious disease. The rule includes persons claiming to seek asylum inside the United States.
During last year’s presidential election campaign, Joe Biden said that he would allow no deportations during his first 100 days in office. After that, he would only deport immigrants upon “commissions of felonies.” Biden also referred to President Trump’s immigration policies as an “assault on our values.”
The recent crisis in Del Rio is a continuation of a surge in illegal entries along the southern border amid the ongoing COVID pandemic. An inspector general’s report recently indicated that the Biden administration’s handling of conditions along the border had increased the risk of disease for Americans.
CBP plans to use Title 42 to “accelerate the pace and increase the capacity” of expulsions at the Del Rio crossing. Border Patrol Chief Raul L. Ortiz said Sunday that around 3,300 illegals have already been detained or deported.
Homeland Security is now planning on deporting families with dependent children as well. That action has faced legal challenges in the past and sharp criticism from Democrat politicians and human rights advocacy groups.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas defended the use of Title 42 in an appearance on MSNBC Tuesday, stating that deportations will move forward because of the COVID risk presented. Mayorkas emphasized the “multi-part” strategy DHS has adopted. He claims that the Biden administration still plans to address the “root causes” of the immigration crisis while providing “safe, legal pathways” for migrants. He added that he believes the administration will reform asylum laws “fundamentally dismantled” under President Trump.