Title 42 is a World War II-era public health law that allows the removal of persons by the United States government who have recently been in a country where a communicable disease was present. The bill was reinstated during the Trump era in March of 2020 when the COVID 19 pandemic began to upend American life and has since been present. Although the purpose of the reinstatement of this bill is said to minimize the cross-contamination of the COVID-19 virus (along with its variants), there is questionable intent about the morality of keeping the bill in place. Immigration activists state that the bill has been kept in place for too long now and it has now become a tool to use as an excuse to ignore legitimate asylum claims. As a result, they are trying to get the bill ousted.
Last week (the week of Monday Mar 28, 2022 ) however, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) announced that now given the improved tools (including vaccines and drug therapies) have been developed to fight the pandemic, Title 42 would be terminated on May 23, 2022.
The current dispute arises however due to the fact that the $10 billion compromise COVID-19 relief bill is at risk of stalling in the Senate as a result of a partisan fight over whether to allow a vote on an amendment to reinstate Title 42 restrictions or not. Republicans wish to amend the COVID relief bill with a provision to keep Title 42 in place. Many Democrats, however, are opposed. If Title 42 is not amended into the COVID relief bill, there are major stakes at place; the biggest being the bill not passing as a whole. A vote on the restoration of Title 42 is likely to pass if set at a 50-vote threshold. If the adoption of the amendment is set at a 50-vote threshold, it has a good chance of becoming part of the relief package. This is a huge risk to take that can have major consequences if its implications are not considered closely.
If Title 42 is amended into the 10 billion dollar covid aid bill, it will grant Americans emergency pandemic funding, give the federal government and its citizens the tools necessary to continue the country’s economic recovery, and keep schools open and families safe. Additionally, it will also direct the money to domestic needs for vaccines, tests, and therapeutic drug treatment and direct about 5 billion of those dollars to international aid to combat the pandemic abroad. However, it will also continue to unfairly ignore legitimate asylum claims.