While there has been much debate on whether or not the border is open, the truth is that most people are still being turned away. 62% of those apprehended at the southwest border in May were expelled under Title 42, a public health order implemented in March 2020 that still remains in effect. This policy allows the CDC Director to suspend entry of individuals to the United States if they are deemed to be a threat to public health and has been used to rapidly expel people at the border without full processing.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been expelled under Title 42 by both the Trump and Biden administrations. This includes at least 13,000 unaccompanied children who were expelled in 2020 under President Trump. A district judge ruled in November 2020 that it was illegal to apply Title 42 to unaccompanied children, and since that time they have been taken into custody rather than expelled. CBP is required to transfer unaccompanied children to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within 72 hours.
While unaccompanied children are no longer being expelled, the Biden administration has continued Title 42 expulsions of thousands of single adults and families. 86% of single adults apprehended in May 2021 were expelled.