‘It’s a question of when, not if’: Immigration lawyer says Title 42 will inevitably be lifted

The Supreme Court ruled to keep the pandemic era policy in place for at least two months.

SAN ANTONIO – It’s the start of the new year, and the fate of Title 42 is still undecided.

The pandemic-era policy gave the U.S. the right to quickly turn away migrants and asylum seekers at the border because of COVID-19.

The Biden Administration would like to lift Title 42, but several states are fighting to keep it in place.

“At the end of the day, it’s a question of when, not if, because it is a temporary law, and everyone agrees about that,” said Lance Curtright, managing partner at DMCA.

With 20 years of immigration law experience under his belt, Curtright says it’s inevitable that Title 42 will be lifted.

“It’s a presidential proclamation. It’s a question of how it’s been inputted and how it’s being wound down, which is causing all the legal wrangling,” Curtright said.

He referred to the back-and-forth between the courts, the federal government, and the 19 states -- including Texas -- fighting to keep Title 42 in place.

“The longer it stays in place, the more damage it does,” Curtright said.

For border communities, it’s causing confusion and uncertainty.

Sandragrace Martinez went to El Paso from San Antonio almost a month ago. She’s helping migrants who are sleeping on the street with little to no resources.

“It just becomes a human thing and making sure their basic needs are met,” Martinez said.

Martinez said she has seen how Title 42 has been weaponized for political reasons, and real lives are being impacted.

“I feel betrayed by my government,” she said.

In February, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments surrounding keeping Title 42 in place. For now, the policy remains.

Curtright believes a complete overhaul of the system is needed to come to a solution on immigration.

“Until we actually get the political will and have the people come together and elect people who are, we have some consensus, we’re going to continue to have some of these kinds of fights over things that shouldn’t be fought about,” Curtright said.

About the Authors:

Leigh Waldman is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.