President Joe Biden has announced that he will lift the public health emergency for Covid-19 on May 11, ending free tests and treatment. The move may also mark the end of Title 42, the border policy that has been the subject of a legal battle in the Supreme Court.
According to NBC News, the Biden administration plans to roll back the Covid ban known as Title 42 on May 11, provided the courts allow it, ending the policy before the Supreme Court has ruled on a suit by Republican-led states seeking to keep it in place.
Title 42 was first invoked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the Trump administration in March 2020 and has been used by border agents to deny entry to more than 2 million immigrants claiming asylum. Policymakers from both parties and Department of Homeland Security officials have predicted a significant increase in the number of migrants crossing the border once the policy is lifted, which is already at a record high.
The policy states that it may be lifted when the “public health emergency” is officially over or the “CDC Director determines that the danger of further introduction of Covid-19 into the United States has declined.” The Biden administration initially tried lifting Title 42 via a CDC order, which resulted in a lawsuit from Republican states. However, they will end the policy by letting the public health emergency declaration expire on May 11.
A legal expert close to the case has stated that the Republican states may see this as an opportunity to sue again, arguing that this second path for lifting Title 42 also violates their rights. House Republicans voted to end the public health emergency for Covid immediately, which would have the unintended effect of allowing the Biden administration to end Title 42 even sooner. However, the bill is unlikely to pass the Senate.