The CDC formally announced today that it will terminate the Title 42 order that permits Border Patrol agents to expel illegal border-crossers without hearings.
For Biden, Title 42 has been a convenient substitute for real border enforcement using immigration laws, which he would rather not use. So his administration has had the best of both worlds — an easy way to efficiently refuse entry to enough migrants to enable them to deny the "open borders" critique, without using detention, while still allowing a huge number of families and "vulnerable" migrants to enter and get work permits. But we've all known that it would have to end at some point since it's linked to the pandemic conditions.
Now the clock is ticking for the administration to come up with a plan to deal with the tsunami of new illegal border crossers from around the globe who reportedly are already flocking to Mexico in anticipation of even more lenient catch-and-release rules. There is no imaginable scenario for the administration to avoid another disaster. The word is out across the globe that Biden is unlikely to send anyone home.
Most likely, Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will talk tough but indulge the migrants to the maximum extent possible. Mayorkas will talk about processing migrants, not returning them; he'll have reception centers instead of detention, and ask for their names and fingerprints, and then release them to go where they please; he will use gimmicks to justify granting asylum and work permits to give them a faux legal status; he will promise to remove failed asylum-seekers but will devote no resources to locating them. The administration will do its best to whisk the migrants through. They must know that this will be unpopular, but they believe that they have nothing to lose. They are betting that even if the Republicans have control of one or both houses of Congress next year, it will be too hard to deport the millions of new arrivals, or block legal status for them, and when their party regains control, they can give then green cards and cultivate a new generation of loyal Democratic voters.