Originally published in the Hill on May 6, 2023.
With the deadline to end Title 42 fast approaching on May 11, the Biden administration is considering various approaches to manage the potential increase in migrant crossings at the southern border. The recent deadly fire at a migrant detention facility in Ciudad Juarez (across the border from El Paso, Texas), in which almost 40 Central and South American migrants lost their lives, highlights the need for a well thought out and humane strategy to fill the policy vacuum left by Title 42.
As part of the Biden administration’s efforts to address the potential impacts, the administration should incorporate a public health approach towards making our immigration system work better for migrants and U.S. citizens alike. That means putting the health of migrants at the center of the immigration debate and working our way outwards across our government, addressing socio-economic factors, institutional systems, and policies that affect immigrants’ health.