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End of Title 42-Poster of the Week

Undocumented Citizens

Carlos Torres Cazares

Ultrachrome print, 2009

Kansas City, MO


Translation: Open Border!

No Human Being is Illegal

Last Thursday, May 11, the Trump-era policy known loosely as “Title 42” expired with the federal government’s ending of the Covid-19 public health emergency. Title 42 is the entire section of U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, dating back to 1944, that deal with preventing the spread of disease. However, since the beginning of the pandemic, Title 42 has become shorthand for a specific rule within that section that allows the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to block noncitizens from entering the U.S. if they appear to pose a threat to U.S. public health. The Trump administration implemented the rule in the early stages of the pandemic, which essentially dismantled the U.S.’s asylum structures.

Anticipating a surge in border crossings, the Biden administration recently finalized a new rule that would also severely limit asylum seekers. The policy will prevent “migrants from seeking asylum in the U.S. if they pass through another country along the way that also offers asylum.” Such countries include Colombia and Mexico, even though Mexicans and Colombians are among the top percentage of those seeking asylum in the U.S.