WASHINGTON (AP) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday that it is ending a policy that limited asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The government said it was already making plans to erect tents and take other steps to prepare for an expected influx of migrants.
The continued use of public health powers had been widely criticized by Democrats and immigration advocates as an excuse for the United States to shirk its obligations to provide haven to people fleeing persecution. The policy went into effect under President Donald Trump in March 2020. Since then, migrants trying to enter the U.S. have been expelled more than 1.7 million times.
The policy, known as the Title 42 authority, is named for a 1944 public health law to prevent communicable disease. The termination of the policy takes effect May 23, to give border officials time to prepare. The Associated Press first reported the change earlier this week.