Most Americans Support Retaining Title 42 Expulsions
According to a May POLITICO-Harvard poll, 55 percent of Americans oppose the Biden administration’s attempts to end the use of Title 42 to expel some illegal border crossers. Among the opponents of scrapping Title 42 removals are not only a vast majority of Republicans (81 percent), but also a majority of independents (52 percent) and more than a third of Democrats (36 percent). The survey shows, unsurprisingly, that the average American has much more common sense than the Biden administration when it comes to immigration policy.
Title 42 is a section of the United States Code that deals with public health, civil rights, and social welfare. In 2020, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), under President Trump, invoked the provision to prohibit the entry of foreign nationals who pose a potential health risk and immediately expel them. In Fiscal Year 2020, 205,000 individuals were expelled under Title 42, against the backdrop of 458,000 total Southwest border apprehensions; in FY2021, it was a little less than 1.1 million in the context of over 1.7 million apprehensions (now called “encounters”). During the Biden Border Crisis, Title 42 has served as the least remaining vestige of sanity, keeping the illegal migration flood from turning into a full-blown deluge.
Nevertheless, the administration – apparently blinded by an open-borders ideology that views any restrictions on immigration whatsoever as “inhumane” – moved to rescind the CDC emergency order as of May 23. Fortunately, Judge Robert R. Summerhays of the U.S. District Court in Lafayette, Louisiana, issued a preliminary injunction last Friday blocking the Biden administration from lifting what FAIR describes as “the only remaining mechanism for controlling our southern border.”
Homeland security officials warned that scrapping Title 42 expulsions – at a time when apprehensions are already accelerating at a record-breaking pace – could mean an illegal migration flow of up to 500,000 a month. As rational actors, potential illegal border crossers and human smugglers undoubtedly see the very idea of canceling Title 42 removals as a welcome mat.
Most Americans seem to understand this, and other recent polls on Title 42 in particular, and immigration and border security in general, bear it out. One example is a Fox News poll demonstrating that 63 percent of Americans wanted Title 42 restrictions in place, including 58 percent of African-Americans and 57 percent of Hispanics. Another is an AP-NORC poll giving President Biden a 38 percent approval rating on immigration (and an overall approval rating of 39 percent). And a Trafalgar poll showed that 56 percent of Americans believe that we should close the southern border “until a solution is reached,” including 65 percent of Hispanics.
On border security, the Biden administration should stop slavishly listening to the insatiable, utopian demands of pro-mass-migration, open-borders extremists, and start listening to the American people.