- As Title 42 — the COVID-19 era policy that aimed to slow the arrival of asylum seekers into the U.S. — approaches its end at 11:59 p.m. Thursday, many educators and advocates are wondering how schools along the U.S.-Mexico border and elsewhere across the nation will be impacted.
- At least one Texas district — El Paso Independent School District — said ahead of Title 42’s end that its police force continues to collaborate with other local law enforcement agencies to ensure safety at schools, according to news reports.
- Civil rights organizations, meanwhile, are urging compassion and due process rights for those seeking asylum — particularly children and families fleeing violence, poverty and other threats.
In recent years, schools closest to the Mexico border and around the nation have experienced an increase in "newcomer" students. Over the past year, the governors of border states Texas and Arizona have sent buses of migrants to New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere, according to news reports.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the state would continue to bus migrants to other locations in the U.S. to provide "much-needed relief to Texas’ overrun border communities."
At the start of the 2022-23 school year, New York City Public Schools said it was expecting at least 1,000 children of asylum seekers to enter the school system over the school year. In response, the district announced several education, health and housing initiatives.
The U.S. Department of Education also said it was planning to issue resources, including better data management guidance, for districts serving newcomer students. Federal data from the 2017-18 school year shows there were about 1 million immigrant students in the U.S. Between October 2022 and March 2023, about 58,700 unaccompanied children were released to sponsors, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The end of Title 42 — which takes place the same day the COVID-19 national emergency declaration ends — means a transition back to Title 8, which allows immigration authorities to expeditiously process all individuals who arrive at the U.S. border. Title 42 allowed for the emergency expulsion of most people crossing illegally into the U.S.
An updated order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in March 2022, said unaccompanied noncitizen children would not be expelled from the U.S. under Title 42. And ahead of the transition to Title 8, the Biden administration announced several border enforcement actions, including expedited removals for those crossing illegally and increased funding for border cities.
Since Title 42 went into effect in March 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have carried out more than 2.2 million expulsions, according to the American Immigration Council, a nonprofit organization that advocates for immigrant protections.