Title 42 has expired

By Adrienne Vogt, Maureen Chowdhury, Matt Meyer, Elise Hammond and Tori B. Powell, CNN

Updated 12:09 a.m. ET, May 12, 2023
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11:59 p.m. ET, May 11, 2023

"Do not believe the lies of smugglers. The border is not open," US administration says as Title 42 expires

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas is seen during a White House press briefing on Thursday, May 11.
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas is seen during a White House press briefing on Thursday, May 11. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The Biden administration is warning migrants not to “believe the lies of smugglers” as Title 42 expires, reiterating “the border is not open.”

In a statement from Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas released just before midnight — and as the pandemic-era immigration policy ends — the administration said the US is “ready to humanely process and remove people without a legal basis to remain in the U.S.”

“We have 24,000 Border Patrol Agents and Officers at the Southwest Border and have surged thousands of troops and contractors, and over a thousand asylum officers to help enforce our laws,” the statement reads. “Do not believe the lies of smugglers. The border is not open. People who do not use available lawful pathways to enter the U.S. now face tougher consequences, including a minimum five-year ban on re-entry and potential criminal prosecution.”
“Together with our partners throughout the federal government and Western Hemisphere,” the statement continues, “we are prepared for this transition.”
11:59 p.m. ET, May 11, 2023

Title 42 has expired. It allowed US authorities to swiftly turn away migrants at the border

Title 42 officially expired at 11:59 p.m. ET, meaning the Trump-era pandemic public health restrictions are no longer in place.

Title 42 allowed border authorities to swiftly turn away migrants encountered at the US-Mexico border, often depriving migrants of the chance to claim asylum and dramatically cutting down on border processing time. But Title 42 also carried almost no legal consequences for migrants crossing, meaning if they were pushed back, they could try to cross again multiple times.

Once Title 42 lifts, the US government will return to a decades-old section of the US code known as Title 8, which allows for migrants to seek asylum, which can be a lengthy and drawn out process that begins with a credible fear screening by asylum officers before migrants’ cases progress through the immigration court system.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has warned Title 8 would carry “more severe” consequences for migrants found to be entering the country without a legal basis.

11:38 p.m. ET, May 11, 2023

Judge temporarily blocks Biden administration from releasing migrants from Border Patrol without court notices

From CNN's Priscilla Alvarez

A federal judge in Florida has temporarily blocked the Biden administration from releasing migrants from Border Patrol custody without court notices, according to a late Thursday court filing.

The ruling takes effect Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET to coincide with the end of Title 42 – and will expire in 14 days.

The Biden administration is expected to appeal.

For now, the ruling takes away one of the administration’s key tools in attempting to manage the number of migrants in US Customs and Border Protection custody — in some cases, by releasing them from custody with conditions. US border facilities are not equipped to hold people for extended periods of time.

The Biden administration had been preparing to release migrants who are apprehended at the US-Mexico border without court dates amid high border arrests and immense strain on border facilities, according to the Department of Homeland Security. As of Wednesday, there were more than 28,000 migrants in Border Patrol custody, stretching capacity.

The administration has previously released migrants without court dates when facing a surge of migrants after they’re screened and vetted by authorities. The latest move would have released migrants on “parole” on a case-by-case basis and require them to check in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Some individuals may also be placed in alternative to detention programs. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Wednesday it would apply to a “fraction” of the people encountered.

Florida, which has previously taken issue with the release of migrants from custody, filed an emergency motion Thursday asking the court to temporarily block the administration’s plan.

A preliminary injunction hearing is scheduled for May 19, according to the order.

9:43 p.m. ET, May 11, 2023

Republicans criticize Biden ahead of Title 42's expiration

From CNN staff

Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford speaks on border security and Title 42 during a press conference at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on Thurdsay.
Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford speaks on border security and Title 42 during a press conference at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on Thurdsay. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford joined other Republicans at a news conference outside the Capitol on Thursday, calling the end of Title 42 a “predictable crisis." Lankford said he and Republican colleagues are working quickly on legislation to address the crisis.

“This administration has not done what it needed to do," Lankford said. "The administration, by the way, does have the tools to enforce the asylum policies. They have those tools right now. They've always had those tools. They've just chosen not to be able to use them."

Several other Republican senators visited the border area near Brownsville, Texas.

North Carolina Sen. Ted Budd called the end of Title 42 "truly a humanitarian crisis." At a Thursday evening news conference with fellow senators, he called on Biden to pass his introduced Build the Wall Now Act, which would require the construction of the border wall to resume.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said "an absolute travesty" was unfolding on the border.

"The great state of Texas is on the frontlines," he said at the news conference. "The volume is overwhelming. It's got to stop."

Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall commended Border Patrol, the National Guard, volunteers and NGOs, who are addressing conditions at the border. He urged President Joe Biden to "come and look one of these camps in the eyes and see for himself the tragedy that's ongoing here."

North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven echoed the concerns of his party regarding the end of Title 42. He called on Biden to "enforce the law," and the Remain in Mexico policy.

8:17 p.m. ET, May 11, 2023

Mayor of Arizona border city asks Biden administration for an emergency declaration

From CNN’s Paradise Afshar

Migrants seeking asylum in the United States wait in line to be processed by US Border Patrol agents Thursday after crossing into Yuma, Arizona from Mexico.
Migrants seeking asylum in the United States wait in line to be processed by US Border Patrol agents Thursday after crossing into Yuma, Arizona from Mexico. Mario Tama/Getty Images

An Arizona city near the US-Mexico border is asking the Biden administration for an emergency declaration as Title 42 is set to expire Thursday night.

Yuma Mayor Douglas J. Nicholls said he wrote to President Joe Biden "demonstrating and demanding that he declare a national state of emergency due to this immigration crisis."

The mayor said he demanded not just funding, but also additional resources on the ground. According to Nicholls, additional resources will help his community “protect our border,” along with migrants those who are crossing. 

“The need for a state of emergency for our nation is dire,” he said. “Numerous immediate actions upon declaration of emergency are possible. A full response by FEMA and the National Guard, like they would in any other disaster where they provide boots on the ground for housing, food, transportation, and healthcare. That would be the beginning.” 

Title 42 is a 2020 policy that allowed US authorities to expel migrants at the southern border to curb the spread of Covid-19. 

“Tonight, as we all know is going to be the sunset of Title 42 and the question keeps coming up, what now? Well, I’ve been asking that question for two years with no substantial response,” Nicholls said. “But the issues are here today, and those issues are in the form of people literally at the border and crossing the border. We’ve had an increase in the last month from 300 to 1,000 people and more every day.” 

9:04 p.m. ET, May 11, 2023

Laredo is preparing for an influx of migrants crossing the border, mayor says

From CNN’s Andy Rose

Mayor Victor Treviño
Mayor Victor Treviño (CNN)

The expected spike in migrants crossing the border into the United States ahead of the end of the Title 42 immigration policy requires a response similar to a natural disaster, the mayor of one border town said Thursday.

“We're boarding up like there were a hurricane coming,” Laredo, Texas, Mayor Victor Treviño told CNN’s Erin Burnett.

Treviño said they have safety concerns for the migrants themselves, noting that Laredo does not have a permanent pediatric intensive care unit.

“I don't want to see any child get gravely ill and not be able to treat them,” he said.

The Laredo mayor said the border crisis was “avoidable for a long time” had immigration reform been put in place, and now his community is paying the price.

“At the end of the day, what has always been a federal problem for decades now has become a local problem for our border communities,” said Treviño.

7:40 p.m. ET, May 11, 2023

Texas border counties make disaster declarations ahead of Title 42's expiration

From CNN's Dave Alsup

The south Texas counties of Cameron and Hidalgo made disaster declarations Thursday ahead of Title 42's expiration.

Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. issued his region's declaration, citing “the imminent threat of the current Border Security Disaster,” according to a news release.

Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez issued a disaster declaration Thursday afternoon, according to a Facebook post.

Customs and Border Protection has informed the judge of "large groups of migrants" near the southern border who are "in search of crossing points,” Cortez wrote.

“I have decided to declare this emergency as a first step in securing all available state and federal resources to ensure the health and safety of our residents,” the judge added.

CNN's Nick Valencia contributed to this report.

7:34 p.m. ET, May 11, 2023

New York City to appeal temporary restraining order that blocks it from sending migrants to another county

From CNN’s Samantha Beech

New York City plans to appeal a temporary restraining order against the city and Mayor Eric Adams that blocks the city from transporting migrants to a hotel in Rockland County.

A judge granted the order Friday in response to a lawsuit that claimed the city’s plan to bus migrants to a local hotel in Rockland County exceeded New York City’s legal authority.

“New York City has cared for more than 65,000 migrants — sheltering, feeding, and caring for them, and we have done so largely without incident,” Fabien Levy, a spokesperson for the mayor, told CNN. “We need the federal government to step up, but until they do, we need other elected officials around the state and country to do their part.”

Levy added, “Sadly, the Rockland County executive has already shown his inability to manage less than a fourth of 1 percent of the asylum seekers who have come to New York City, even with New York paying for shelter, food and services. And all this temporary order shows is that he is incapable of demonstrating a shred of the humane and compassionate care New York City has shown over the past year. We are appealing the decision."

A court hearing is scheduled for May 30 to determine if the temporary restraining order will be extended.

Some background: Adams announced last Friday the city planned to send willing migrants to neighboring communities ahead of a surge of migrants expected in the city following the expiration of Title 42.

Rockland County Executive Ed Day said the county is dealing with its own housing crisis that has already subjected some low-income families to overcrowding.

"Quadrupling the number of homeless in this County overnight, as the City is intending to do, will only compound our housing crisis and lead to more people living in these dangerously inhumane conditions that we are fighting to fix," Day said in a previous statement.

6:59 p.m. ET, May 11, 2023

About 1,000 migrants awaiting to be transported and processed at El Paso’s Gate 42, border patrol chief says

From CNN’s Rosa Flores in El Paso

In the last 48 hours, about 1,500 migrants who had been waiting at border Gate 42, located in El Paso, Texas, have been transported and processed, according to US Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz.

Ortiz made the remarks to the media outside the gate and did not take questions from reporters.

Ortiz said an additional 1,000 migrants, including families, are still waiting to be processed.

“We have family units, we have single adults, we're prioritizing those most vulnerable populations. We're doing this as quickly and as efficiently and as safely as we possibly can,” he said. 

Ortiz added that he hopes to transport and process the remaining migrants in the next 24 hours.