What Does the End of Title 42 and I-9 Flexibility Mean for Employers?

U.S. immigration policy and the Biden administration’s response to the ongoing migration crisis have been hot topics in the news. We break down potential considerations for employers as the pandemic-era immigration policy ends and border crossings from individuals without documentation in search of asylum are expected to rise sharply.

On Thursday, May 11, the Biden administration dealt with Title 42 expiration. Title 42 is the name of an emergency health authority that began in March 2020 under the Trump administration. As part of COVID-19 restrictions on asylum seekers in the interest in public health, Title 42 allowed border authorities to send back individuals attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border quickly. Because the Biden administration announced in January that it would end the national COVID-19 emergencies, the border restrictions were affected.

The expiration of Title 42 will allow undocumented individuals crossing the border to seek asylum, rather than being turned back. However, the route to seeking asylum is a tenuous and lengthy process that first involves passing a “credible fear screening” by asylum officers to determine whether the individual has a legitimate fear of persecution in their home country. If they meet the screening criteria, their case is introduced into the immigration court system to determine if they can stay in the United States.

By Jorge Lopez and Elizabeth Whiting via Littler

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