Today, I stand before you as an immigrant, a student, and an active beneficiary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. I want to share with you the consequential impact that the recent decision by Judge Andrew Hanen, declaring DACA as an unconstitutional executive program, has had on my life, the lives of thousands like me, and its relation to the founding principles of this country.

I have been under the protection of DACA since 2013, at the time I was a junior in high school. I was not aware of my undocumented status until I tried to enlist in the US Air Force. I remember asking my parents about the location of my green card so I could bring it to the recruiter, and instead I had my entire world pulled from right under me. I remember feeling ashamed of my status, as if I had suddenly contracted some sort of viral infection, I could not get rid of. Waves of anger and resentment washed over me as I blamed my parents for putting me in this situation in the first place. The questions that rang inside my head screamed out: Why me? Why do I have to be different? Why do I have to carry this burden alone?

Ever since I immigrated to this country in 2004, I have always considered myself to be an “American”. I am very fortunate and privileged to have been able to attend amazing schools, have wonderful friends, and most importantly, have dreams and aspirations that reflected the great “American Dream” rhetoric that people used to talk about at the time. This is my home; I have no connection to the culture or way of life outside of the United States. When I found out about my status in the U.S., it felt like I had lost a limb from my body. I lost myself. Losing my sense of belonging was the worst feeling; I was suddenly very afraid, and I felt like no one around me could understand what I was really going through.

After applying for and receiving DACA, those feelings began to slowly change. The program has been a lifeline for me and countless others in this country. It has provided us with a temporary reprieve from the constant fear of deportation, allowing us to come out of the shadows and contribute openly to this great nation. It has given us the opportunity to work, study, create businesses, and pursue our dreams. DACA has been our bridge to stability, allowing us to integrate fully into American society. It has allowed us to work towards and achieve our own versions of the “American Dream” we so deeply yearned for.

However, Judge Hanen’s ruling threatens to strip away this protection and cast us back into uncertainty and insecurity. I believe one of the most devastating aspects of this ruling is the emotional toll it takes on DACA recipients and their families. For many of us, the United States is the only home we have ever known. The fear of deportation, separation from our families, and the potential unraveling of our lives is a constant source of anxiety and distress. It is a feeling that no one should have to endure, especially when we have done nothing wrong except be brought here as children. We have become essential members of the American workforce, contributing our skills and talents to the American economy. We pay taxes, we start businesses, and we create jobs. The program has been a win-win, benefiting both our individual lives and the nation as a whole. And although the current ruling does not terminate DACA, the possibility of its future termination and other legal challenges that follow fill me with dreadful emotions I am honestly exhausted of experiencing.

The vast majority of students and professionals under DACA knew this program was supposed to be a temporary fix, a band aid to a larger issue. The exclusion of our parents, friends, colleagues, and loved ones who did not meet the criteria for protective status left us all with a foul taste in our mouths. To many, the introduction of DACA was supposed to be the pathway to so much more. The judicial impasse we find ourselves in today is due to the lack of legislative action, and I will continue to implore our government to engage in meaningful and substantive conversations as soon as possible before it is too late.

This decision threatens the very essence of the American dream for thousands of DACA recipients (and possible recipients). It challenges the principles of fairness, justice, and compassion that this nation of immigrants was built upon. As an immigrant, and student at the University of Houston, I implore you all to stand with us, to support us in our fight for justice and equity. To recognize that we are not just “Dreamers,” but contributors, students, and integral members of this great nation.

And yet despite these challenges, we are resilient. We are fighters. We refuse to let this setback define us or deter us from our goals. We will continue to advocate for a permanent solution, for a pathway to citizenship that recognizes our contributions and the deep roots we have established in this country. I call out to every public and private institution of higher education, to our allies who are sitting in government positions, in businesses, and in their homes to use their power as American citizens to set things right.


Carlos Hernandez is a DACA recipient and a senior undergraduate student at the University of Houston who is majoring in Political Science with a concentration in Law and Public Policy. Carlos is deeply involved in various student organizations on campus, like the Student Government Association and the Pre-Law Society. Notably, Carlos is also a prestigious recipient of TheDream.US National Scholarship, ensuring full financial support for his ongoing educational journey. This impact statement was originally shared on a webinar hosted by the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education. Carlos is currently an undergraduate intern with HILSC.

High number of deportations amidst a record number of crossings.

A Democratic president promising positive change to immigration policy that never comes.

Limited capacity at every nonprofit legal service provider.

You would be forgiven for guessing whether we were talking about 2012 or 2022. Over the 10 years since the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative (HILSC) was founded, the immigration space has roiled under the relentless, demeaning attacks by politicians and populists eager to exact suffering on a marginalized group of people to push their agenda. However, the community that has grown to respond to the wave of inhumane hate stands as the key change over the past decade. While many of today’s challenges in the immigration field share an uncomfortable amount of similarities with longstanding systemic issues, HILSC believes that the future for the community looks bright.

To mark its tenth birthday, HILSC worked to position its network to tackle the next decade. At the beginning of this year, HILSC finally became an independent 501(c)(3), giving the organization greater latitude to advocate for immigrants and greater flexibility to martial resources on their behalf. Shortly after, HILSC began work on a strategic plan. Why select that as the first major project after becoming independent? Because the power of HILSC always came not merely from the collective labor of its partners but also through the opportunity of coordinated efforts to smartly tackle the challenges at hand. The words of philanthropist W.K. Kellogg, which continues to guide his foundation, encapsulates this sentiment: “…it is only through cooperative planning, intelligent study and group action – activities on the part of the entire community – that lasting results can be achieved.”

This spirit informed our strategic planning as we collected feedback from our network through surveys, one-on-one interviews and group discussions. HILSC wanted to co-create with its partners a guide to fostering a resilient interdisciplinary immigration ecosystem capable of meeting the existing and emerging needs of immigrants in Greater Houston in an agile, adaptive manner.

The planning culminated in a June meeting that brought more than two dozen partners throughout the network, many seeing each other for the first time since before the pandemic. Across the conference room were the four goals that underpinned our new plan, an evolution of the goals that guided HILSC in the past. Over four hours, partners gathered in small groups and discussed the critical elements HILSC and the community should prioritize when it came to each of these goals.

Participants expressed broad enthusiasm and support for the proposed goals and approaches. They encouraged HILSC to take a bold and systemic approach to its work, noting, however, that sequencing of activities would be critical to success. This is a marathon, not a sprint, they reminded us. They also provided valuable input on how HILSC could approach implementing these elements and ways in which HILSC partners could contribute. By the end of the process, the foundational goals of HILSC transformed into revised goals that resonated with lessons learned from past experiences and better suited to today’s challenges.



Though the work in organizing the strategic planning was not easy, especially as the plan put in place requires regular evaluation to ensure the goals are being met, we would not have chosen differently. We as a community have tirelessly worked to uplift and defend immigrants against the unjust excesses of the immigration system, but working tirelessly without plan or direction is not sustainable. As we enter the second decade of existence, HILSC wants to safeguard the existing capacity that serves immigrants and continue growing it as this community has done since 2012.

These plans provide a start to a more dynamic future where HILSC can help the community continue adapting to an ever-changing landscape. Similar to Amnesty International, another organization that faces intractable problems in an increasingly hostile environment, HILSC believes having at all times “strategic goals to guide the movement.” One of the few frameworks designed explicitly for this type of situation is the Theory of Change, a process specifically designed to enact wider social change through informed, strategic decision making, a version of which we will unveil in the coming months. In our future blog posts, we will go more in depth through the steps taken in the strategic planning, including data collection, the philosophy of inclusivity and the decision-making process.

As of July 28, 2023, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Family Expedited Removal Management (FERM) program includes Houston. FERM was originally announced by ICE on May 10, 2023, and started with immigrants heading to the four cities of Baltimore, Newark, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. Denver and St. Paul were added in June and Houston and New Orleans in July. Beginning August 11, 2023, Nashville, Seattle, Philadelphia, San Bernardino, and Portland have been added to FERM and Las Vegas, Marlton (NJ), Sacramento, San Antonio, and Los Angeles will be on the list August 18, 2023.[1]

This blog post will address what FERM is and how it is being used below. However, in light of recent litigation, HILSC felt it might be helpful to discuss first whether the FERM program would be continuing. On July 25, 2023, Judge Tigar in the Northern District of California granted a motion for summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs: East Bay Sanctuary Covenant (“EBSC”), Central American Resource Center of Los Angeles, Tahirih Justice Center, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Immigrant Defenders Law Center, and American Gateways. The order from Judge Tigar vacated the DHS & DOJ rule known as the “Circumvention of Lawful Pathways” (CLP) rule or the “asylum ban,” and remanded it to the agencies.

Nevertheless, the 9th Circuit has since stayed the lower court’s order vacating the CLP rule pending their decision on the government’s appeal. Regardless of the recent litigation, which continued prior litigation over an “asylum ban” under the Trump administration, the CLP rule solely implemented asylum related regulations under 8 CFR 208.33. The FERM program is considered an “Alternative to Detention” (ATD), which is not part of 8 CFR 208.33.

Although not explicitly mentioned in the INA, ICE began using ATD in 2004, under the “discretion” given to ICE Enforcement and Removal Officers (ERO) in INA 236(a) and 8 CFR 1236.1(c)(8).[2] However, under INA 235(b)(1)(B)(iii)(IV), an individual in expedited removal who expresses a fear of returning to home country is subject to mandatory detention until it is determined that either the fear is credible or the fear is not credible and the person is removed. FERM is explicitly for families in expedited removal and, as discussed below, allows the families to not be detained, which seems to be contrary to the mandatory detention requirement in INA 235.

What is FERM?

Under FERM, family units at the border who express a fear of returning to their home county will be processed by CBP and released if their intended destination is any of the specified cities listed above. For these purposes, family is defined as a noncitizen parent or guardian and their noncitizen child(ren) under age 18.[3] For those familiar with Houston and its large size and sprawl, this may have triggered a question as to what is considered to be “Houston?” A family will be enrolled in FERM if the address of their intended destination is within 75 miles of the ATD site in one of the listed cities.

Once it is determined by CBP (in conjunction with ICE ERO) that the family will be going to a location within FERM’s purview, and that they are from a country with which the U.S. has regularly recurring repatriation flights, the “head of household” will be given a GPS monitoring device (usually an ankle monitor) and instructed to report to ICE in the intended city and to add the Smartlink application to their phone/device.[4] ICE indicates that GPS monitoring devices are not allowed to be given to pregnant people or people with a severe medical condition. Enrollment in the FERM program is also dependent on the capacity of USCIS in the destination city.

Upon arriving at the destination city, the family must go to the ATD office in that location to be further enrolled in the Intensive Supervision Appearance Program (ISAP). While at the ATD office they will get a “Know Your Rights” (KYR) presentation, a list of immigration resources in the area, and instructed on the home curfew they will be expected to comply with.[5] The family will also have an appointment with the USCIS Asylum Office in the location for their credible fear interview (CFI), which was scheduled by CBP prior to releasing the family.

One of the main challenges that has been reported about the FERM program is the timeline under which all of these steps must take place.

On a recent webinar from AI Justice, panelists indicated that the time it could take to get from the border to the CFI in a designated city was frequently more than five days. Taking into account the difficulties of traveling with children and getting them settled into a new location while also looking for childcare and transportation and consulting with a lawyer, most families would have difficulty preparing for the very real possibility of a CFI being scheduled on day 6.

Practitioners that have attempted to work with immigrants in FERM have reported that the intake and screening process are strained due to difficulties getting access to phones, confidential spaces, and childcare in such a short period of time. Not to mention that the lack of time makes working with the client in a trauma-informed manner next to impossible. Other challenges immigrants face in the process can be the distance they have to travel to the asylum office for their CFI, lack of childcare during the interview, and the long duration of the interview—often up to 6.5 hours during which time there is no food for the adults or children.

How do I know if my potential client is in FERM?

As mentioned above, ankle monitors and/or SmartLink phones are a good initial indicator that the family is enrolled in FERM. Although it is not consistent, there are various potential documents the family may have:

With the FERM process starting in Houston July 28, 2023, practitioners in Houston and the other listed cities should be screening carefully to make sure not to miss a FERM family, as their needs and timeline will be significantly different from other clients. With the short timeframe between arrival in Houston to scheduled credible fear interview, the earlier you encounter the family the better. At the end of July, ICE sent an email to current organizations on the EOIR List of Pro Bono Legal Service Providers asking which organizations wanted to be included on information provided to FERM families as potential remote legal service providers. However, ICE has not yet confirmed which organizations are/will be listed, so HILSC would encourage all advocates to keep an eye out for these families.

[1] After the initial announcement of FERM by ICE on May 10, 2023, announcements about expansion cities have been sent to stakeholders via email. The only additional information ICE has released about FERM is “Statement regarding the Family Expedited Removal Management Program.” “US expands curfews for asylum-seeking families to 13 cities as an alternative to detention,” Elliot Spagat, AP News, August 4, 2023.

[2]Immigration: Alternatives to Detention (ATD) Programs,” Audrey Singer, Congressional Research Service, July 8, 2019. “Alternatives to Immigration Detention: An Overview,” American Immigration Council, July 2023.

[3] Information in this section gathered from Americans for Immigrant Justice’s Webinar: “What is the Family Expedited Removal Management (FERM) Process?” on July 25, 2023 and ICE’s FERM Stakeholder meeting on July 28, 2023.

[4] If the head of household does not have a device, one will be given to them.

[5] The ISAP program is run by BI which was acquired by Geo Group and has had many issues, including case managers being assigned up to 300 people at once, which means each immigrant gets very little assistance. Poor tech, opaque rules, exhausted staff: inside the private company surveilling US immigrants , The Guardian, March 7, 2022.

As alluded to in the prior blog posts in this series, Title 8 of the U.S. Code is once again the controlling law over immigration policy at the border. However, the policy did not return to the status quo after Title 42 expired. Instead, the Biden administration’s asylum final rule, known as Circumvention of Lawful Pathways, went into effect upon Title 42’s expiratio

This is the third in a five part series featuring the staff of HILSC and their experiences with belonging. One November day in sixth grade, I forgot my lunch so I used the office phone at school to call my mom to bring it for me. It is a memory I would have forgotten by now if not for what happened next.

The Trump administration’s invocation of Title 42 was not unprecedented.[1] However, this drastic measure was inconsistent with the Administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic generally. While stoking fears of migrants introducing and spreading the virus into the U.S. without evidence to support such claims, the Administration continually and aggressively downplayed the threat of the virus generally, consistently undermining the advice and expertise of health experts and stifling the country’s ability to respond generally.

On the other hand, President Trump consistently spewed xenophobic language and unrelentingly pursued actions to limit all forms of immigration into the United States, especially for the most vulnerable individuals. The Administration implemented a series of policies curtailing asylum, removed certain due process protection for immigrants, and ended temporary immigration protection for hundreds of thousands of people by terminating DACA and TPS, among many others.

The Administration’s dramatically different response to the scientifically proven threat of COVID-19 and the unsupported threat posed by immigrants arriving and living within the U.S. overwhelmingly suggests the Administration invoked Title 42 not to protect Americans from a deadly virus, but rather to accomplish its ulterior motive of enacting anti-immigrant policies, many of which had been enjoined by federal courts. This inconsistency is chronicled below.


Policies Introduced—and Prohibited by Courts— to Limit Access to Asylum Policies and or Comments Downplaying Severity of COVID-19 Pandemic

Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) or “Remain in Mexico”

The Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, was implemented in January 2019 and required certain asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for the duration of their immigration court proceedings. The policy faced legal challenges, and in February 2020, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court’s injunction against the policy in the case of Innovation Law Lab v. McAleenan, 951 F.3d 1073, 1078 (9th Cir. 2020). The policy was not allowed to continue during the duration of the Trump Administration; however, the Supreme Court lifted the injunction in March 2021, allowing the policy to continue until it was later formally terminated by the Biden administration in June 2021 and subject to subsequent litigation.


Asylum Ban

The Trump administration issued a rule in July 2019 that sought to categorically deny asylum eligibility to individuals who crossed the southern border between ports of entry. This policy was challenged in court and in July 2020, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in the case of East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Barr, 964 F.3d 832, 838 (9th Cir. 2020) affirmed a district court’s preliminary injunction, effectively blocking the policy. As a result, the asylum ban was not allowed to continue.


Third-Country Transit Ban

In July 2019, the Trump administration issued a rule that barred individuals from seeking asylum in the United States if they had passed through a third country without applying for protection there first. This policy faced legal challenges and in September 2019, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary injunction against the policy. The Supreme Court later ruled in favor of the administration in a separate case, Barr v. East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, 140 S. Ct. 3 (2019), and allowed the policy to be implemented while litigation continued. However, the policy was later replaced by the Title 42 expulsions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Zero Tolerance Policy and Family Separation

The “Zero Tolerance” policy, announced in April 2018, aimed to prosecute all individuals crossing the border unlawfully, including those seeking asylum. As a result, families were separated as parents were criminally prosecuted. This policy faced significant public backlash and legal challenges. In June 2018, a federal judge in the case of Ms. L v. ICE, 302 F. Supp. 3d 1149 (S.D. Cal. 2018), issued a preliminary injunction ordering the administration to reunite separated families. Subsequent court orders and settlements further required the reunification of separated families. The policy was effectively discontinued, and a court-appointed steering committee oversaw the reunification process; this litigation continues today. More than 5,000 children were forcibly removed from their parents, hundreds remain permanently orphaned.



Former President Trump frequently touted hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19, even calling it a “game-changer.” However, scientific studies and health experts raised concerns about the lack of sufficient evidence supporting its effectiveness and potential risks. The FDA revoked the emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine in June 2020.


Injecting Disinfectants

In a press briefing in April 2020, President Trump suggested the possibility of injecting disinfectants or using ultraviolet light inside the body as a potential treatment for COVID-19. This statement was widely criticized by medical professionals and experts as dangerous and without scientific basis. Health agencies promptly issued warnings against such practices.


Downplaying the Severity of the Virus

There were instances where the former administration downplayed the severity of the virus. For example, early in the pandemic, there were statements that suggested the virus would disappear quickly or that it was under control, which did not align with scientific projections or the evolving situation.


Mask Usage

There were mixed messages regarding the importance of wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Initially, there was resistance to widespread mask usage, with suggestions that masks were not necessary for the general public. However, scientific evidence increasingly supported the effectiveness of masks, leading to revised recommendations from health agencies.


Specifically Undermining Infectious Disease Experts

There were numerous instances where former President Trump made statements that undermined or questioned the expertise and motives of Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading infectious disease expert and a prominent member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Here are a few notable examples, including 1) certain treatment approaches for COVID-19, e.g., the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, the use of remdesivir, and the timing of reopening businesses and easing restrictions; 2) President Trump’s July 2020 retweet of a post that criticized Dr. Fauci and other public health experts, downplayed the severity of pandemic, including the statement, “. . . deaths are really down and going down further,” and 3) generally downplaying the severity of the virus to Americans.


The Legacy of Title 42: More Restrictive Asylum Rules and Policies

Despite the dubious motivations for implementing Title 42 and the failure of the threatened doomsday scenario of an unmanageable Southern U.S. Border upon its expiration, the expiration of Title 42 nevertheless led to the introduction of new and more restrictive asylums rules and processes, known as the Circumvention of Lawful Pathways. The new regulation means people fleeing their home countries due to violence and instability, who undertake an uncertain, life-threatening journey to seek refuge in the U.S., will be rendered ineligible for asylum unless they can meet one of a handful of exceptions. Each of these policies, which will be discussed in related, forthcoming blog posts, cause individuals requesting asylum to be generally presumed ineligible unless they or an accompanying family member can show: 1) prior entry through parole; 2) they’ve sought and been denied protection in another country en route to the U.S.; or 3) successful use of a DHS scheduling system, CBP One.


[1] A few examples of when Title 42 provision had been utilized prior to COVID-19 include: 1) HIV/AIDS: In the past, Title 42, Section 265 has been invoked to enforce restrictions on the entry of individuals with HIV/AIDS into the United States. This policy, commonly known as the HIV travel ban, was in effect from 1987 until it was lifted in 2010; 2) SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome): During the SARS outbreak in 2003, Title 42, Section 265 was utilized to implement health measures at U.S. ports of entry to prevent the entry and spread of the disease; 3)  Ebola: Title 42, Section 265 was invoked during the Ebola outbreak in 2014-2016. It was used to implement enhanced screening and health measures for individuals entering the United States from countries affected by the Ebola virus; and 4) Zika virus: In 2016, Title 42, Section 265 was invoked to address the Zika virus outbreak. Measures such as enhanced screening and mosquito control efforts were implemented to prevent the spread of the virus.

Photo by Greg Bulla on Unsplash.

Two months have passed since Title 42’s expiration. In the months and days leading up to its ending, certain national politicians and news media organizations created the impression through a constant drum beat of warnings of a “surge” of thousands upon thousands of migrants at the Southern U.S. border. They warned that a perceived, relaxed immigration policy threatened to overwhelm America’s robust border security apparatus. However, this unmanageable, anarchic situation failed to materialize—federal officials did not see a “major influx” of migrants when Title 42 ended[1]. Instead of the introduction of thousands of new migrants who would have otherwise been automatically expelled and denied their legal right to seek asylum under Title 42, the policy’s expiration resulted in the introduction of new, more restrictive asylum rules and processes. The processes, which require migrants to use a newly introduced cellphone application[2] and include the introduction of certain rules echoing aspects of the Trump administration’s attempts at functionally eliminating the ability of migrants to seek asylum prior to the introduction of Title 42, are now in effect. Accordingly, practitioners should be knowledgeable of them moving forward. We will continue discussing these changes in detail in a series of blog posts begun with our post about the new CBP One App. Before discussing the new rules and processes that remain following the settling of Title 42’s dust, it is helpful to understand the context explaining how we got here.


What is Title 42?

As an initial matter, it is important to note that Title 42 is not an immigration law; rather, Title 42 refers to a specific section of the United States Code, the comprehensive compilation of federal laws. Title 42 encompasses a wide range of laws related to public health and social welfare—it is not exclusively or even primarily focused on immigration. This section of the U.S. Code covers various health-related topics, including provisions related to the control and prevention of diseases, public health service, and the responsibilities of the Department of Health and Human Services.

How then was a health-related law permissively used nearly 3 million times[3] since March 2020 to expel individuals from the country arriving primarily to the southern border? How was a health-related law permissively used to disregard otherwise legal rights promised to those fleeing persecution? Within Title 42 is Section 265, commonly referred to as “Title 42 expulsions” or the “Title 42 public health rule,” granting the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) the authority to take measures to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the United States[4]. Accordingly, in times of public health emergencies, the Secretary of HHS has powers otherwise within the jurisdiction of their colleague, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

In contrast, Title 8—not Title 42—is the most relevant and comprehensive Title of the U.S. Code compiling federal laws relating to immigration[5]. Title 8 of the U.S. Code, titled “Aliens and Nationality,” is divided into several chapters and contains the federal laws related to immigration and nationality in the United States. It encompasses a wide range of provisions that govern various aspects of immigration, including entry, admission, status, removal, naturalization, and the rights and responsibilities of non-citizens in the country.


Title 42: An Expedient Tool to Accomplish Anti-Immigrant Goals

From the beginning of what would become the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Trump Administration, at best, sent mixed messages regarding the severity of the threat of coronavirus generally. However, the Administration had no such ambivalence about the threat of the virus coming from the Southern border. The Trump Administration swiftly implemented policies that indicated COVID-19 posed a serious health emergency as far as migrants were concerned. The Trump Administration invoked Title 42, Section 265 and began expelling migrants on March 20, 2020. The administration justified the invocation of Title 42 to expel migrants and effectively closed the border as a measure to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19 into the United States. While at the same time, the Trump Administration repeatedly underplayed the severity of the virus and actively undermined necessary measures to secure the health and safety of Americans during the Pandemic.


[1] Garcia, Uriel J., “Border Didn’t See a “Major Influx” of Migrants When Title 42 Ended, Federal Officials Say,” Texas Tribune (May 12, 2023),

[2] Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative, The New Asylum Rule – CBP One, (

[3] It is important to note that more than half of the expulsions carried out in furtherance of Title 42 were of individuals who sought to enter more than once. The number of expulsions under Title 42 therefore does not reflect an increase in the number of individuals trying to enter; rather, as a result of Title 42, over a million individuals sought to enter multiple times after an initial expulsion.

[4] The specific language of Section 265 states: “The Surgeon General, with the approval of the Secretary, is authorized to make and enforce such regulations as in his judgment are necessary to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the States or possessions, or from one State or possession into any other State or possession. For purposes of carrying out and enforcing such regulations, the Surgeon General may provide for such inspection, fumigation, disinfection, sanitation, pest extermination, destruction of animals or articles found to be so infected or contaminated as to be sources of dangerous infection to human beings, and other measures, as in his judgment may be necessary.”

[5] In addition to Title, several other Title contain provisions related to immigration related matters, including: Title 18, which includes provisions related to immigration offenses and penalties, such as illegal entry, smuggling, and fraud; Title 22, which deals with various aspects of U.S. foreign relations, including provisions related to the visas for diplomats and consular officers, diplomatic immunity, and international child abduction cases; and Title 26, which primarily focuses upon federal tax laws, and contains provisions relating tax obligations and benefits for non-citizen and foreign workers. Because immigration law is complex, Practitioners should be sure to consult regulations outside of the U.S. Code, as well as executive orders, administrative rules, and agency guidelines.

Belonging … on this Independence Day

The concept of belonging has almost always eluded me. For most of my life, I never felt that I fit in any one place. My only sanctuary was my family home –the place my parents built together and vehemently guarded to help my siblings and I feel protected. Stepping out of my comfort zone was always anxiety-provoking and I hardly ever allowed myself to explore anything outside of what was considered “safe.” Admittedly, writing this blog post is not easy for me but I have come to understand and appreciate the importance of sharing one’s journey of belonging.

This is the first in a series of blog posts HILSC will be writing about the end of Title 42 and the imposition of the Biden administration’s Circumvention of Lawful Pathways final rule. This post explores the CBP One app and its use in the asylum seeker process.

This is the first in a five part series featuring the staff of HILSC and their experiences with belonging.

Vickie Giambra – In my first week at HILSC, the entire team sat together and watched a webinar called “The Belonging Barometer: The State of Belonging in America,” which presented findings from a survey by Over Zero and the Center for Inclusion and Belonging at the American Immigration Council. The findings and resulting discussion left quite an impression on the HILSC team, sparking a conversation about belonging and how it impacts the work we do.