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The Extension of Title 42… and the Intensification of the “Border Crisis”

Title 42—a U.S. government provision that since March 2020 has been used to “expel” millions of asylum-seeking immigrants from the U.S.—was set to expire at midnight of December 20. But on December 19, the Supreme Court issued a temporary ruling that prevented the Biden administration from ending it. A week later, on December 27, the Court announced that Title 42 would remain in effect for at least the first several months of 2023.1 Meanwhile, tens of thousands of migrants from many countries had approached the U.S.-Mexico border, in anticipation of the possible end of Title 42.

Immigrants at Ciudad Juarez, Mexico border with El Paso Texas


Migrants in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico seeking asylum status wait to cross into the U.S. at El Paso, Texas, December 20, 2022.    Photo: AP/Christian Chavez

The fascist Trump/Pence regime began using Title 42 of the U.S. public health code as a means to block large numbers of immigrants and refugees from entering the U.S. and applying for asylum at its southern border, under the bogus pretext of “protecting” the U.S. from the spread of COVID-19. When he was running for president, Biden pledged that “on day one” he would “eliminate President Trump’s decision to limit asylum …” But Biden not only maintained the use of Title 42, his administration has “expelled” (forced out of the U.S. without a hearing) over two million migrants, far surpassing the number expelled by Trump. This has denied millions of migrants the right to apply for asylum and get a hearing on their request—a right supposedly guaranteed under international and U.S. law. The Supreme Court’s extension of Title 42 means the government can continue to “expel”—drive out of the country without any legal hearing—migrants seeking asylum at the U.S.’s southern border.

The rulers of the U.S.—both Democrats and Republi-fascists—fear that the end of Title 42 may lead to even greater numbers of desperate migrants and refugees coming across the U.S.-Mexico border, and spark a major political crisis—the seeds of which are already evident along the border. The moves by both of the opposing sections of the U.S. ruling class indicate that this system has NO answer to the “immigration crisis”—no answer that is actually in the interests of humanity.



Alejandro Mayorkas, head of the Biden administration Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has emphasized that even if Title 42 ends, the DHS will use other legal measures such as “expedited removal” to “quickly repatriate individuals who do not have a legal basis to stay in the United States.” In short, the Biden administration intends to continue massive deportations and expulsions with or without the use of Title 42.

But if Title 42 is lifted, it is possible that a new massive movement of migrants towards the border could begin. The Republi-fascists very likely will seize on this to create a major political crisis for the Biden administration and to further fan the vicious anti-immigrant sentiment that has tens of millions of people in the U.S. in its grip—and to further step up their overall fascist agenda. What this country does in the shadows and on the hush-hush could very likely be pushed to the forefront, as the fascists and the Democrats fight for advantage. To cite Something Terrible, Or Something Truly Emancipating: Profound Crisis, Deepening Divisions, The Looming Possibility Of Civil War—And The Revolution That Is Urgently Needed, A Necessary Foundation, A Basic Roadmap For This Revolution, by Bob Avakian, such a situation “can make people more open to questioning—in a real sense it can force people to question—the way things have been, and whether they have to stay that way. And this is all the more likely to happen if the revolutionary forces are out among the people shining a light on the deeper reality of what is happening, and why, and bringing out that there IS an alternative to living this way.”

In that situation, the forces for revolution must be boldly out there “shining that light” on WHY do we have this insane situation, the revolutionary solution to it, and what must be done now to hasten that revolution—and to wield the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian, on this question.



1. The court said that it will hear oral arguments on the case in February, and issue a final ruling by the end of June. [back]

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