News & Views

Title 42: Myths and Facts

Many of you may have followed, at least vaguely, the seemingly hysterical back and forth litigation about Title 42. And if you have followed the story, even in summary fashion, you think this is a story about some Trump era policy that “helped” to cut down the seemingly overwhelming flow of people across our Southern border. You think this because this is the story that all the news media outlets are telling. The problem? There is no part of this story that is based in fact.

Fact: Title 42 is a provision that, temporarily, because of a public health crisis, permits our government to close our borders. Prior to 2020, the provision was never invoked. When the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic hit, Trump invoked it.

Myth: When Title 42 was invoked in 2020, it shut down all border crossings.

Fact: Almost immediately after it was invoked, people were permitted to cross our Northern border and to enter the country at international airports across the country. It was only our Southern border that was closed.

Myth: Title 42 was invoked because of overwhelming numbers of people that our country simply couldn’t handle.

Fact: Title 42, true to its reason for existence, was invoked because of a worldwide health crisis.

Fact: The numbers seeking to enter are country have risen over the last decade as climate change and consequent economic and political instability have increased displacement worldwide.

Myth: These numbers of people are overwhelming.

Fact: What is overwhelming is the fact these numbers, paroled into the country because they are legally permitted to enter based on their eligibility for legal immigration status, are not provided with work authorization until months and sometimes as long as a year after they arrive. Without work authorization they have no ability to support themselves and are dependent on others for support.

Myth: If Title 42 is lifted our borders will be overrun with people requiring massive amounts of federal and state resources to address this.

Fact: Title 42 has done nothing more than create a dam, allowing the numbers of people who are eligible to enter this country to build up over time. Taking the dam away will result in the same number of people that we would have taken in over the last several years had we not continued to unconstitutionally dam up the border by keeping Title 42 in place.

Fact: If Congress issued immediate work authorization to those eligible to enter the country, rather than forcing people to wait months and years for this, few federal and state resources would be required as people could seek and obtain employment immediately upon entry to the country.

Myth: Not everyone who enters can find work, jobs are scarce.

Fact: There are staffing crises in every single industry. Birth rates have been declining for more than two decades, mortality rates are increasing, baby boomers are retiring in droves and over the last decade our political rhetoric has increased in its anti-immigrant sentiment to such an extent that immigrants who have choices are opting for Canada, the UK or Europe over the United States while legal permanent resident immigrants are also choosing to leave. The demographic state of our country is akin to the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries – when we desperately needed people.

Fact: Our democracy is in crisis, the leading cause of death for children is gun violence, hatred—of Jews, of immigrants, of LGBTQ persons, of people of color, of people of Asian descent—is on the rise. Immigrants, who are usually fleeing political persecution or persecution based on their religion, their sexual preference, their race or their ethnicity are desperate to build lives based on the freedom to not be persecuted for any of those or other reasons. They are our strongest hope to preserve what has been built and without them we come perilously close to losing everything for which we think this country stands.

Myth: The US Supreme Court has Ordered to Title 42 to remain in effect because it understands that we have a southern border crisis

Fact: Governors of several border states have brought an emergency petition to the US Supreme Court seeking to stop the revocation of Title 42 – even though COVID-19 is clearly NOT a justification since people are being permitted to enter the country at our Northern border and at international airports.

Fact: In response to the Governors’ emergency petition, Justice Roberts kept Title 42 temporarily in place to give the Biden administration time to respond to the governors’ arguments. The Biden administration has until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, 12/20/22 to file their response.