WASHINGTON—U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus issued the following statement following Friday’s announcement that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) will, effective May 23, 2022, terminate its Title 42 public health Order:
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday that it will terminate its Title 42 public health order effective May 23, 2022. Pursuant to its Title 42 authority, the CDC has, since March 2020, required the expulsion of unauthorized single adults and family units arriving at the land borders in order to protect against the spread of COVID-19. The CDC’s Title 42 order, implemented at the height of the pandemic, is not a border management authority.
“Throughout our agency’s history we have capably managed immigration at the border utilizing the authorities under Title 8 of the US Code (traditional immigration management authorities). These authorities allow non-citizens appropriate access to make asylum claims and include a range of enforcement options to hold individuals accountable for entering the U.S. illegally. This means most individuals who cross the border without legal authorization will be promptly placed in removal proceedings.
“As a result of the CDC’s termination of its Title 42 public health order, we will likely face an increase in encounters above the current high levels. There are a significant number of individuals who were unable to access the asylum system for the past two years, and who may decide that now is the time to come.
“We are doing everything we can to prepare for this increase, ensure we continue to process people humanely, and impose consequences on those who break the law. At the same time, we will continue to use all available resources to secure our borders. This includes the increased use of technology, on-ground monitoring, use of drones, and additional support personnel to supplement BP agents and free them up from processing duties whenever possible.
“I’d like to note that we are not in this alone. Specific actions being taken to address ongoing and potential future developments at the border include:
- Increasing our work with other governmental agencies, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Department of Justice, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Department of State and other federal entities to address potential increases in the number of migrants coming across the border.
- Expanding coordination with various non-governmental agencies, including a range of non-profit organizations, faith-based entities, and others (both at and away from the border area) to help facilitate short-term-care and transportation for migrant asylum-seekers.
- Shifting Border Patrol agents and CBP officers from other locations to assist at the border.
- Increasing the number of ICE personnel working alongside CBP personnel to assist in processing migrants and enforcement actions along the border.
- Activating other DHS personnel who have volunteered to temporarily work on the border assisting with data entry and the care and custody of migrants.
- Increasing the number of (non-sworn) Border Patrol Processing Coordinators and contractors to assist with processing migrants.
- Maximizing the use of air and ground transportation to move migrants from sectors that are over capacity to other CBP locations.
- Shifting our processing of migrants to utilize the full range of options under Title 8 (traditional immigration authorities).
- Increasing the investigation and prosecution of human smuggling networks responsible for illegal border crossings.
- Increasing access to and efficiency of the asylum system by restarting normal asylum-seeker processing at ports of entry and working with other DHS partners to decrease the length of these processes (this is being done, in part, by adopting a new rule to expedite processing by asylum officers).
- Adding new short-term facilities at key border locations to reduce over-crowding.
- More effectively tracking the movements of various migrant groups who may be headed towards the U.S. border.
- Working closely with foreign governments to conduct joint enforcement operations.
- Increasing repatriations under Title 8 (returning migrants to their counties of origin).
- Continuing work with foreign governments to increase economic opportunities and stem migration out of those countries.
- Developing and utilizing new approaches in the use of social media to educate and warn migrants about the dangers of human smugglers (often associated with cartels) who facilitate travel to the U.S.
“Our nation has asked for much of the CBP team over the past several years. This challenging work is not done; we face demanding days ahead. I am continually impressed by the dedication of CBP personnel every day and honored to serve as CBP’s Commissioner.”