Title 42 Expired. Now What?

Title 42 Expired. Now What?Moving to America as an immigrant presents a multitude of challenges that can be both daunting and overwhelming. From navigating complex legal procedures and paperwork to adapting to worrying about the threat of deportation, immigrants often face many hurdles. The immigration system itself can be intricate and time-consuming, requiring careful attention to detail and adherence to numerous requirements.

Title 42 restricted immigrants from coming to America during the COVID-19 pandemic, but with its end, new challenges arise. The journey to establish a new life in America requires resilience, determination, and often the support of an experienced and sympathetic immigration law attorney who can provide guidance and assistance throughout the process.

What was Title 42?

Title 42 refers to a specific regulation within the broader framework of U.S. federal regulations concerning public health. This rule grants the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the authority to prevent noncitizens from entering the United States for public health reasons.

During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the previous administration implemented this rule, citing concerns about the potential spread of the virus. The aim was to address the perceived risk of introducing COVID-19 into the country, as stated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Even under the current administration, the rule remained in effect. Since March 2020, it has been utilized over 2.8 million times to swiftly deport migrants to Mexico or their home countries, without granting them the opportunity to seek asylum.

Why did Title 42 expire?

As the COVID-19 public health emergency has officially ended, Title 42 has ended with it.

The White House had initially moved to rescind the rule over a year ago, but its attempts were temporarily halted by a federal judge’s ruling. The judge determined that the administration couldn’t revoke the policy while a challenge from a group of states was ongoing.

However, in November, a different federal judge declared that Title 42 violated the Administrative Procedures Act. The judge ordered the administration to gradually phase out the use of the policy by late December.

As the expiration date neared once more, the Supreme Court intervened and ordered that the rule remain in effect until it could hear arguments and make a final decision.

Ultimately, at the end of January, the White House announced the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency, which also led to the termination of the rule tied to the emergency declaration.

What does this mean for immigrants?

Despite the lifting of the Title 42 restrictions, the administration introduced a final rule on May 10th, effective May 11th. From the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website:

[Department of Homeland Security] DHS has announced the Circumvention of Lawful Pathways final rule. Individuals are encouraged to use lawful, safe, and orderly pathways to come to the United States. Effective May 11, 2023, the U.S. government will generally presume individuals who unlawfully enter the United States through its southwest land border or adjacent coastal borders are ineligible for asylum, unless they can demonstrate an exception to the rule or rebut the presumption. Unaccompanied children will be exempted from this presumption.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced the new rule, emphasizing the aim of encouraging individuals to utilize lawful and orderly pathways to enter the United States. The rule assumes that those who do not use these legal pathways are ineligible for asylum.

However, on July 26, 2023, Judge Jon S. Tigar of the U.S. District Court in Northern California officially blocked this order but “immediately stayed his decision for 14 days, leaving the asylum policy in place while the federal government appealed the decision. The appellate court could extend the stay while it considers the challenge.”

Can immigrants still seek asylum in America?

Yes, they can – but it can be a challenge. As of right now, you have to apply at a port of entry; there are 328 of them spanning more than 1900 miles along the southern part of the country.

How can a Knoxville immigration law attorney help me and my family?

At our office located in Knoxville, we are dedicated to providing assistance to immigrants and their families from various parts of the world. Our team is enthusiastic about helping you navigate your journey towards living and working in Tennessee or any other part of the United States. If we encounter a question or issue for which we don’t have an immediate answer, we are committed to informing you honestly and then actively seeking the information or solution you need.

The end of Title 42 will bring further difficulties and challenges for those who wish to live in our country and/or our state, and we are here to help you through those challenges. What we can do is help you in the correct path for seeking asylum, assist you in gaining residency for both you and your family, deal with any issues from the Board of Immigration Appeals, and offer you the resources for all the paperwork and documents you may need to fill out in order for you to live happily and legally in our country.

We want our state and our country to be welcoming and diverse, and we wish to help those who seek a home here to be able to do as easily as possible. Embarking on the journey towards citizenship and safety is an exhilarating experience, and it’s natural to have plenty of questions along the way, especially with the end of Title 42.

At the Law Offices of LaFevor & Slaughter, we are dedicated to serving the legal needs of immigrants in Tennessee. Whether you have inquiries about the immigration process or require assistance with any related matter, we take pride in offering our support. You can reach out to us by calling at our office in Knoxville, or by filling out our contact form. Our team of skilled Knoxville immigration attorneys is here to help you achieve the American Dream and guide you through every step of the way.