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The Expiration of Title 42
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The Expiration of Title 42

The migrant surge came early.

Happy Monday! Justice is a dish best served fried: The two fishermen who were caught last year stuffing walleye with lead in an effort to win an Ohio fishing tournament have been sentenced to 10 days in jail—and required to forfeit their $100,000 fishing boat.

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his main challenger, opposition party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, both appeared to fall short of the 50 percent threshold required to win the country’s high-stakes presidential race after tens of millions of voters cast their ballots on Sunday. With 92 percent of the vote counted early Monday morning, Turkey’s High Election Board put the incumbent in the lead with 49.4 percent of the vote to Kılıçdaroğlu’s 45 percent, setting the stage for a close runoff election between the two candidates on May 28.
  • Ukrainian forces have reportedly regained more than a mile of territory in some parts of Bakhmut in recent days, with the Russian Defense Ministry suggesting its forces in the eastern Ukrainian city had withdrawn to regroup and set up a new defensive line with more “favorable conditions.” But Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner paramilitary group supplementing Russian forces, said Ukraine had regained control of strategic highlands in the city: “[What the Russian military did] is called running away, not regrouping.”
  • German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius announced a nearly $3 billion military aid package for Ukraine on Saturday, hours before Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky traveled to Berlin. The aid package—Germany’s largest yet—will reportedly include 30 Leopard tanks, armored vehicles, reconnaissance drones, and ammunition. The materiel will be delivered in the coming months.
  • Representatives of the two warring generals in Sudan signed an agreement in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia last week aimed at protecting civilians and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid, but the measures fall short of a full ceasefire. Mediated by Saudi Arabia and the United States, the deal also calls for international monitoring of the Rapid Support Forces and the Sudanese military as the fighting—which began a month ago and has left more than 600 people dead—rages on.
  • Israel and the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) agreed to a ceasefire over the weekend, seeking to bring an end to fighting that has killed 33 Palestinians—which the Israeli Defense Forces said were mostly militants, but likely included civilians struck by PIJ rockets falling short of their Israeli targets—and two civilians in Israel. Dozens more were wounded on both sides of the conflict, which began when PIJ militants in Gaza fired rockets into Israel on May 2 after a detained PIJ leader died from a hunger strike in an Israeli prison. This weekend’s accord—mediated by Egypt—was set to go into effect Saturday night at 10 p.m., but a handful of rockets and missiles continued to fly shortly thereafter.
  • A Pakistani court released Imran Khan on Friday after the former prime minister was arrested Tuesday on graft charges. The court granted Khan a two-week bail after Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruled his original arrest—which set off violent protests across the country—was unlawful. Khan predicted that he will be arrested again, and told The Guardian he believes the head of Pakistan’s army ordered his arrest due to a “personal grudge.”
  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Friday that Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will retire from the State Department at the end of June. The announcement came just one day after Reuters reported Sherman had played a key role in the department’s decision to delay the implementation of sanctions on China—including restrictions on Huawei and officials involved in the Uyghur genocide—after the U.S. shot down a Chinese spy balloon in February. Sherman—who was a lead negotiator on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and an architect of the Clinton administration’s failed North Korea policy before that—was reportedly hoping to reschedule Blinken’s trip to Beijing that had been canceled after the balloon incident.
  • President Joe Biden announced Friday he is nominating economist and World Bank Executive Director Adriana Kugler to serve on the Federal Reserve Board, and tapping Philip Jefferson—a current member of the board—to serve as the vice chair of the central bank. Both nominees will need to be confirmed by the Senate.
  • Education Secretary Miguel Cardona told the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday that the Biden administration’s pause on student loan repayments will end “no later than June 30,” adding that the “emergency period is over.” The restarting of payments will come as the White House’s sweeping student loan forgiveness plan remains on hold while the Supreme Court weighs its constitutionality.
  • Biden told reporters on Sunday he will likely meet with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday to continue negotiations over raising the debt ceiling and averting a default in the coming weeks. The president signaled optimism a deal could be reached, and the pair’s Friday meeting was delayed so staff-level talks could continue over the weekend.
  • Daniel Penny—the Marine veteran who placed Jordan Neely in a fatal chokehold after Neely was acting erratically on a New York City subway earlier this month—was arraigned Friday on one count of second-degree manslaughter and released after posting bail. 

No Title 42 Tidal Wave—Yet

Migrants from Ecuador warm themselves by a fire along a gap in the U.S.-Mexico border. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Migrants from Ecuador warm themselves by a fire along a gap in the U.S.-Mexico border. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Title 42 expired at midnight Thursday, and the Biden administration heaved a very—very, very—cautious sigh of relief over the weekend as the widely expected tidal wave of migrants failed to materialize at the southern border. So far.

Numbers did swell to record levels earlier in the week, with 11,000 migrants apprehended Tuesday and again Wednesday. But while it’s far too early for the administration to declare victory, the wave ebbed after Title 42’s expiration—about 6,200 were apprehended Friday—rather than gathering strength as the administration had feared. “Over the past two days, the United States Border Patrol has seen an approximately 50 percent drop in the number of people encountered at our southern border,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told ABC News on Sunday.

A pandemic-era policy ostensibly intended to slow the spread of COVID-19, Title 42 allowed border officials to quickly expel most migrants without letting them apply for asylum—and without formal deportation proceedings. Border officials used it nearly 3 million times. But many of these were repeat crossers, as the lack of criminal consequences associated with Title 42 expulsions incentivized migrants to try their luck repeatedly—and some were eventually able to elude border officials. The number of known “gotaways” grew from around 12,500 a month in 2019 to more than 50,000 in 2022. Republicans largely approved of Title 42 and wanted the Biden administration to keep it in place, but legal battles over its fate fizzled when the national COVID-19 public health emergency—which provided the authority for Title 42 in the first place—expired.

Predicting more than 10,000 crossing attempts per day after the policy’s end, the Biden administration and border towns braced for impact. President Biden began sending 1,500 active-duty troops—performing only support tasks like data entry to avoid violating laws about military operations on U.S. soil—to the border to help 24,000 Border Patrol officials and 2,500 National Guardsmen who have been patching fences, laying barbed wire, and preparing processing facilities.

Administration officials also took to the airwaves in an effort to dispel rumors that ending Title 42 would open the border. “I want to be very clear: Our borders are not open,” Mayorkas said Thursday. “People who cross our border unlawfully and without a legal basis to remain will be promptly processed and removed.” That messaging may have contributed to the surge early last week. “We have to cross today, this is the moment,” Kassy Reinoza, a 29-year-old Venezuelan, told the Wall Street Journal Thursday. “If we cross tomorrow, they can deport you or send you to jail.”

With the end of Title 42, immigration enforcement has returned to the Title 8 status quo—with some Biden administration updates expanding parole and limiting asylum claims. Consequences for illegal entry can now include a five-year entry ban and criminal prosecution. U.S. law gives anyone on U.S. soil the right to claim asylum, but under the new rules—which the American Civil Liberties Union has already sued to block—people who cross between the official entry points will face a higher barrier of proof for their asylum claims, as will those who can’t prove their plea for safety was rejected in a country they passed through on their way to the United States. At official entry points, asylum appointments must now be scheduled in the Customs and Border Patrol’s new app

Meanwhile, the Biden administration has sought to discourage illegal immigration by opening narrow pathways to legal, if temporary, immigration: A new parole program allows 30,000 Venezuelans, Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans a month to fly to the U.S. with a two-year work permit if they have an American financial sponsor.

The system still has some bottlenecks. The CBP app, for instance, offers just 1,000 asylum claim appointments per day, well below the 10,000-a-day expected arrivals. And to cut down on processing time and relieve overcrowding in border facilities, the Biden administration had planned to release some migrants without court dates. But a Florida judge scrapped that plan, granting Florida’s request for a temporary restraining order blocking the parole policy. The administration plans to challenge the ruling, and warned it would lead to dangerous conditions: About 24,000 migrants were reportedly held overnight Thursday in detention facilities made for 18,000 at the most. A 17-year-old unaccompanied migrant from Honduras died Wednesday after being found unconscious in a Florida shelter, though officials haven’t released information about the cause of death. The Biden administration hopes to relieve border bottlenecks with regional processing centers in Latin America, which will help would-be migrants figure out what programs they may be eligible for.

But allowing more migrants to apply for asylum after the expiration of Title 42 also means pushing more people into our already overrun asylum courts. Biden has hired more than 200 immigration judges since taking office, but Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse reports a more than 2-million-case backlog, with the average immigration case taking four years to close. Border officials tend to release migrants into the U.S. with orders to make a court date years in the future—incentivizing people who won’t qualify for asylum to claim it anyway and make a living in the U.S. while their cases grind on.

For all the furor, immigration reform is still unlikely to clear Congress. House Republicans on Thursday passed an immigration bill that would beef up border security funding and resume construction on a border wall—as well as require asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their claims are processed and block asylum claims from anyone who didn’t seek refuge in a country they passed through on their way here. The Democratic-led Senate is unlikely to consider the bill.

In the meantime, border towns are continuing to scale up long-established migrant support systems. Several declared states of emergency to free up extra funding before Title 42 expired, while El Paso’s county increased processing from 650 people a day to 800 at a support center that helps migrants arrange travel to their final destinations in the U.S. And officials in McAllen, Texas, set up enough tents in a public park to house 2,000 people. They’re not full, but local leaders aren’t relaxing yet. “It’s not the numbers we initially expected,” Mayor Javier Villalobos told CNN. “We hope it keeps that way.”

Worth Your Time

  • The past month has seemingly brought nothing but bad news for Ron DeSantis’ prospective presidential campaign, but his braintrust thinks the Florida governor is still well-positioned to take down Trump. “DeSantis’ high command recognizes that the catnip-for-junkies national polling has shifted toward Trump this year, but they believe they retain a fundamental advantage,” Jonathan Martin reports for Politico. “‘Everyone knows the majority of the Republican Party wants to move on,’ said Generra Peck, DeSantis’ gubernatorial campaign manager and closest aide. “They’re convinced of that from their extensive internal polling and the gusher of money they predict will come when DeSantis enters the race. The sheer incoming they’re fielding from donors, activists and well-wishers tells a very different story from the one that comes with each week’s spate of Trump-lead-grows national surveys. There’s one other factor that has DeSantis’ advisers convinced that they remain well-positioned: Trump’s eagerness to kill their campaign in the crib. ‘He knows that his greatest threat is Ron DeSantis and that he was coming and coming strongly at some point,’ said David Abrams, the governor’s spokesperson, by way of explaining why Trump has wielded nicknames, endorsements and organizing to smother their campaign before it even gets underway.”
  • In a piece for the New York Times, old friend and Advisory Opinions regular David French argues “the rule of law is failing on New York subways,” creating the conditions for Jordan Neely’s death at the hands of another passenger, Daniel Penny, earlier this month. “Think of the many failures that put Neely on the train that day,” David writes. “Treatment efforts were inadequate. The sentence for his unprovoked assault did not match the severity of the crime—and, in any case, it was not enforced. When he walked away from the facility, the police failed to arrest him again. One can both be troubled by the problems of mass incarceration and recognize that just sentences for violent crimes should remove the perpetrators from the streets for substantial periods. In short, Neely should not have been in that subway car; he should have still been in the treatment facility or in jail. But he was on the subway, and his conduct was deeply disturbing. Regardless of the outcome of the case against Daniel Penny, we know this: New York City failed Jordan Neely. And it also failed the passengers on that train.”
  • If the history of the baseball uniform had gone a different way, we might all be wearing jaunty little straw hats with our favorite team emblazoned on them. For MLB.com, Michael Clair traces the history of the ubiquitous, all-American baseball cap. “It wouldn’t take long for the teams and sporting goods companies to realize that there was probably something that fit better on a baseball field than a barbershop-quartet-ready chip straw hat,” he writes. “So, the first lid that resembled today’s ballcaps was worn: Teams like the New York Mutuals and Brooklyn Excelsiors switched to a merino cap topped with a star-like pattern made by New York sporting goods company Peck & Snyder. This cap featured ‘the two main characteristics of the modern-day baseball cap: a crown and a bill (or visor).’ It was called the No. 1 and cost about $1.25 to $2 to purchase. But while the Peck and Snyder No. 1 may have kicked off the baseball cap revolution, it looks more like a beret or a deflated soufflé sitting atop someone’s head compared to today’s lids. Those same Brooklyn Excelsiors then brought us much closer to today’s baseball cap, with what is now known as the ‘Brooklyn-style cap.’ The brim went longer and it had a deeper, button-topped crown.”

Presented Without Comment 

CNN: Former NBA Star Dwight Howard Sparks Backlash in China After Calling Taiwan a ‘Country’

Also Presented Without Comment 

Huffington Post: [New Hampshire’s GOP Gov.] Chris Sununu Knocks New Hampshire Crowd For Behavior At CNN’s Trump Town Hall

Also Also Presented Without Comment 

Wall Street Journal: YouTuber Admits Crashing Small Plane on Purpose for Views, Then Destroying Wreckage

Toeing the Company Line

  • In the newsletters: The Dispatch Politics team reports on Nikki Haley’s “kill Marco” playbook, Haley covers the (🔒) emerging bipartisan consensus on ethics legislation inspired by the Hunter Biden probe, Chris notes the (🔒) price of Republicans’ loyalty to Trump is only going to go up, Nick argues (🔒) the end of Title 42 could be a defining moment for the Biden presidency, and Jonah warns against “Zombie New Dealers” and the tendency of both parties to pick winners and losers.
  • On the podcasts: Jonah bounces from the formative years of Western civilization to the 2024 presidential election, while Sarah and Steve discuss entitlement reform with GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.
  • On the site over the weekend: Guy Denton argues Ari Aster’s new film, Beau is Afraid, falls short of its potential, while Peter C. Meilaender reviews a book reassessing the legacy of the British Empire.
  • On the site today: Kevin Carroll looks at how the CIA can address its sexual assault problem and Chris considers whether Republican lawmakers are taking the right approach to the Biden family investigations. 

Let Us Know

Whatever your thoughts on immigration, what’s something you’d be willing to concede to the “other side” in order to usher a bipartisan immigration reform package through Congress?

Declan Garvey is the executive editor at the Dispatch and is based in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the company in 2019, he worked in public affairs at Hamilton Place Strategies and market research at Echelon Insights. When Declan is not assigning and editing pieces, he is probably watching a Cubs game, listening to podcasts on 3x speed, or trying a new recipe with his wife.

Esther Eaton is a former deputy editor of The Morning Dispatch.

Mary Trimble is the editor of The Morning Dispatch and is based in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the company in 2023, she interned at The Dispatch, in the political archives at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po), and at Voice of America, where she produced content for their French-language service to Africa. When not helping write The Morning Dispatch, she is probably watching classic movies, going on weekend road trips, or enjoying live music with friends.

Grayson Logue is the deputy editor of The Morning Dispatch and is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the company in 2023, he worked in political risk consulting, helping advise Fortune 50 companies. He was also an assistant editor at Providence Magazine and is a graduate student at the University of Edinburgh, pursuing a Master’s degree in history. When Grayson is not helping write The Morning Dispatch, he is probably working hard to reduce the number of balls he loses on the golf course.