Title 42, the border policy that mass-expels migrants at the border, is set to lift on May 11, 2023 right before the clock hits midnight.
In anticipation, the Biden administration declared last Thursday a swath of new immigration measures calling to replace the established restrictions of Title 42 through other means — and continue the mass denial of immigrants at our southern border.
These new or repurposed policies include harsher criminal charges and consequences for people attempting to cross the border, doubling down on deportations and detentions. They also include an increase in surveillance and “regional processing centers.” These measures further militarize the border region with the goal to deter future migration.
In its announcement, the administration alarmingly called for “surging resources” to forcefully turn back immigrants from the border and from inside the U.S.
Tens of billions of taxpayer dollars already go to ICE and CBP every year — more than $442 billion in the 20 years since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). More money for that kind of border enforcement means more money for separating families and inflicting unimaginable horrors, fear, and suffering to immigrants. Our leaders are also denying every individual’s human right — and their right under U.S. law — to seek asylum at the border.
A better alternative would be to improve the timely processing of immigrants to allow those seeking a better life to enter the country and work towards legal residence and citizenship.
Instead of adding to the tens of billions of dollars that go to ICE and CBP, our government must seriously consider the transformative reinvestment of funds in true human needs and comprehensive immigration reform to welcome and take care of our communities. It is unfair to implement these band-aid immigration policies, heartlessly destabilizing lives and depriving people of their human right to move freely and live than decent lives.