WATCH: White House says an end to Title 42 doesn’t mean an open border

Since the pandemic began, the United States has been using a public health rule designed to limit the spread of disease to expel asylum-seekers on the southern border.

Watch the briefing in the player above.

Title 42, as it’s called, has been used more than 2.5 million times to expel migrants since March 2020, although that number includes people who repeatedly attempted to cross the border.

But because of a judge’s ruling, starting Wednesday, immigration authorities can no longer use Title 42 to quickly expel prospective asylum-seekers. The change comes as surging numbers of people are seeking to enter the country through the southern border, and with Republicans intent on making immigration a key issue when they take control of the House in January.

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White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre says the end of Title 42 “doesn’t mean that the border is open.”

“It just doesn’t mean that when Title 42 goes away, we will go back to Title eight, which allows for a process to make sure that people can have their own asylum claims heard. And those who do not have a legal basis to remain will be quickly removed,” she said.

She also urged Congress to approve the administration’s $3.5 billion funding request to deal with the issue.

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“We need Congress to provide us the additional resources we’ve requested to do this in a safe, orderly and humane way. If they are serious, Republicans in Congress are serious about securing the border, then they should assist in making sure the men and women at the DHS have what they need to get this done.”