When Does Title 42 Expire? Border Surge Predicted if Trump-Era Policy Ends

A controversial policy known as Title 42 is set to end this month, and some experts have warned that this could result in a wave of migration across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Title 42 took effect during former President Donald Trump's administration in March 2020 as the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued the order to block migrants at the U.S. border, including asylum seekers.

The CDC announced in April that Title 42 would be coming to an end on Monday, May 23, saying in a statement that after looking at public health conditions and the viability of COVID vaccines and therapeutics, it "has determined that an order suspending the right to introduce migrants into the United States is no longer necessary."

However, if the CDC does away with Title 42 as planned, some government officials have warned that the southern border of the U.S. could see thousands of immigrants per day.

In March of this year, senior DHS officials told ABC News that they have run through multiple scenarios and the highest level of migrants coming across the border daily was 18,000. The officials added that the number was just a prediction and the department is preparing for a number of scenarios at the border.

In March 2020, government officials said the use of Title 42—named for a 1944 public health law to prevent communicable disease—was to limit the spread of COVID-19, but some criticized it as an excuse to keep migrants out of the U.S.

"I think it's unclear what the impact of Title 42 potentially lifting in the coming days, weeks or months would be on migratory flows, but we need to be prepared for considering a potential contingency, which is that the lifting of Title 42 could increase flows and so that is definitely part of this planning process," one senior DHS official said, according to the ABC News report.

U.S. Border
Title 42, the controversial pandemic-era border policy enacted by former President Trump, which cites COVID-19 as the reason to rapidly expel asylum seekers at the U.S. border, is set to officially expire on May 23. Pictured, Immigrants wait to be processed by the U.S. Border Patrol after crossing the border from Mexico on May 19, 2022 in Yuma, Arizona. Mario Tama/Getty Images

As of the end of April, migrants have been expelled under Title 42 order more than 1.9 million times. According to the website Border Report, the actual number of migrants expelled is unclear because many who have been removed under Title 42 have attempted to cross the border more than once.

Biden's inner circle has been discussing delaying the repeal, Axios reported, facing pressure from Democratic incumbents up for re-election who are warning that a surge in migrants attempting to cross the border could prove disastrous in the November midterms.

However, a delay in the repeal of Title 42 could also incense progressive Democrats, who have been critical of the continued use of the order.

A Louisiana judge is expected to decide if Title 42 can expire next week, as expected, according to a KHOU 11 report.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say without it, border crossings could soar even higher.

Newsweek has reached out to the White House for comment.