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South Florida activists hope end of Title 42 will bring immigrant families together

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — WPTV got new reaction Monday from local activists on the Biden’s Administration’s move to end Title 42, a health policy that allows border agents to turn away migrants over COVID-19 concerns.

"Title 42, what it effectively did was take away migrant’s right to due process," said Lindsay McElroy, an executive administrative assistant at the Guatemalan Maya Center in Palm Beach County. McElroy hopes the end of Title 42 will bring more immigrant families together, especially those fleeing violence from their home countries. "It will be really impactful for our families who still have family members in Central America, in Mexico who have been unable to come here and seek asylum when they are struggling in those countries," McElroy said. "There are a lot of people coming from all over the world, coming to the United States to seek asylum, and they’re being denied that right under Title 42," said immigration attorney Bianca Jordan. Jordan explained Title 42 was implemented by the Trump Administration during the height of the pandemic. "Tthe purpose was to keep immigrants out of the United States if we had reason to believe that they come from a country where they’ve been exposed to COVID-19. However it’s been used to deter immigrants, specifically asylum-seekers, from coming to the United States to apply for asylum," Jordan said.

More than 20 Republican-led states have filed a lawsuit to block the Biden Administration’s termination of Title 42, including Florida.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, has opposed ending the policy and wanting to extend it through February of 2025.

In a statement he says, "With this action, he is opening our borders and inviting a massive surge of illegal immigration - likely the biggest in U.S. history - that will inflict a lasting and avoidable crisis onto our nation. Ending Title 42 enforcement is reckless, dangerous, and puts our communities in harm's way."

"The Biden Administration really needs to rethink its game plan," said immigration attorney Renata Castro of the Castro Legal Group of South Florida.

Castro hopes all these discussions of Title 42 will push for immigration reform. "When will we, as a democratic country, realize that both Congress and Senate are not working in favor of good laws that save money to the country, while saving lives in standing true to our long-standing history of protecting those who need our protection?" Castro said. Title 42 is set to expire on May 23.

Watch full video on WPTV.

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