Harrison Files Texas Bill to Require Immediate Title 42 Expulsions at Border

Modeled after federal Title 42 which was enacted under Rep. Harrison’s leadership at HHS

Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas Today, Rep. Brian Harrison filed the Texas Title 42 Bill, HB 1491, which uses state health authority to require the immediate expulsion of illegal immigrants back to their country of origin. The requirement remains in place until the federal government ends all public health COVID-19 restrictions.

“As HHS Chief of Staff in 2020, I helped coordinate Title 42, which protected Americans at the border. If Biden is going to force America to exist under a COVID Public Health Emergency he can no longer justify – along with vaccine mandates – and at the same time open the entire southern border to human traffickers, cartels, and millions of unscreened illegal aliens, then Texas should use every tool available to fight back and secure the border ourselves," said Rep. Harrison.

Proud to file the Texas Title 42 Act to allow Texas to exercise our public health authorities and immediately begin expelling illegal immigrants.”


The Texas Title 42 bill is modeled after the Federal Title 42 Order, which was first issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in March of 2020 under the leadership of then Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Brian Harrison. CDC utilized its public health authority under 42 U.S.C. § 265 to suspend entry into the United States to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  This order gave immigration officers the ability to quickly expel illegal immigrants from the country and, although not related to immigration, did lead to the most secure border in history.

Just like the Federal Title 42 order, the Texas Title 42 Bill is not based in immigration law but instead is derived from states’ police powers.  States have long been held to have expansive police powers which include the authority to regulate for health and safety. 

Additionally, states closing their borders out of public health concerns is not a new concept.  In enacting the first Federal quarantine laws in the 1790’s, Congress recognized and fortified state health laws restricting the movement of people and items across its borders for health reasons. 

Due to President Biden’s policies over the last two years, Texas has faced an unapparelled and unprecedented surge of illegal immigration at the Southern border.  In Fiscal Year 2022, 2.76 million illegal immigrants were apprehended at the Southern Border, a 37% increase from the record-breaking 2021 Fiscal Year.

During Fiscal Year 2017, there were a total of 303,916 apprehensions.  In December 2022 alone, there were over 250,000 migrant encounters, which is the highest single month ever recorded by the Department of Homeland Security.  These numbers are expected to dramatically increase when the Federal Government ends the Federal Title 42 Order, which the Biden Administration is actively working to do.

By the Biden Administration’s own estimates, once Title 42 ends, there may be 18,000 illegal crossings every day. 

Key Provisions:
  1. Requires all non-US citizens entering Texas by land to come through a legal port of entry
  2. If a non-US Citizen does not use a legal port of entry, the non-US citizen must be sent back to Mexico or their country of origin as rapidly as possible
  3. The requirements of the bill are in place during any of these:
    1. the Federal Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 is in place,
    2. the Federal government maintains any COVID-19 vaccine mandate, or
    3. The U.S. Department of State has a COVID-19 travel warning for any country which illegal immigrants have come from during the most recent year for which there was available data.

Bill language Here.


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