/ Modified mar 29, 2022 4:40 p.m.

CDC will review the use of Title 42 on Wednesday

The pandemic-era policy enacted in March of 2020 that allows border officers to swiftly turn away migrants on public health grounds.

2021 Title 42 protest Migrants march toward the Deconcini Port of Entry in Nogales, Sonora in a demonstration asking President Joe Biden to restore the U.S. asylum process.
Alisa Reznick/AZPM

Title 42 is up for another review Wednesday. The pandemic-era policy enacted in March of 2020 that allows border officers to swiftly turn away migrants on public health grounds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been reassessing the policy, and so far renewing it, every 60 days.

Immigrant advocates and a growing number of lawmakers argue Title 42 doesn’t have a public health justification and undercuts the legal right to asylum.

Michael Knowles is an asylum officer and the president Local 1924 of the American Federation of Government Employees, the union that represents asylum officers and other Citizenship and Immigration Services employees. He says his chapter has also come out against the policy.

"International law gives migrants the right to seek asylum, to have their cases fairly heard, and to be treated humanely while they await their hearings, not being turned away and returned to possible danger," he said.

This month, the Biden administration announced an upcoming asylum rule change that would fast-track adjudication of asylum cases by taking them out of the immigration court and into the jurisdiction of officers like Knowles. Under current federal law, asylum cases are heard by an immigration judge, a court system that's currently facing a record backlog of some 1.7 million cases. The new rule, set to take effect in 60 days, would see asylum officers handing claims from start to finish.

But advocates argue as long as Title 42 is in place, asylum will remain mostly inaccessible.

Fronteras Desk
Fronteras Desk is a KJZZ project covering important stories in an expanse stretching from Northern Arizona deep into northwestern Mexico.
By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media is a service of the University of Arizona and our broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents who hold the trademarks for Arizona Public Media and AZPM. We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples.
The University of Arizona