Thousands of migrants await end of Title 42 at Mexico border

Migrants are awaiting the end of a public health rule known as Title 42, which leaves Mexico with a waiting period to apply for asylum.

EL PASO, Texas — An appeals court on Friday rejected efforts by conservative states to maintain COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions on immigrants seeking asylum, in as thousands of migrants fill shelters at the Mexican border.

The decision from the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit means the restrictions are still on track to expire on Wednesday, unless further appeal is filed.

Conservative countries are trying to maintain asylum restrictions introduced by former President Donald Trump in March 2020 at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The public health rule known as Title 42 has led some migrants to wait waiting times in Mexico. Migrants have been denied asylum under US and international law 2.5 million times since March 2020 on the pretext of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Immigrant advocates have argued that the United States is essentially giving up on its long history and commitment to providing refuge to people around the world fleeing persecution, and have sued to end it. Stop using Title 42. They also argue that these restrictions are Trump’s excuse to restrict migration, and that in any event, vaccines and other treatments make that argument flawed. time.

Before Title 42 expired, illegal border crossings by single adults fell in November, according to a Justice Department court filing released Friday, though not released. explanation why. It also doesn’t take into account families traveling with young children and children traveling alone.

Border cities, most notably El Paso, Texas, are facing a daily influx of migrants that the Biden administration is expected to increase if asylum restrictions are lifted. Republican-led states have asked a federal appeals court to uphold Title 42 beyond Wednesday’s expected closing deadline. A decision can go down the wire.

Tijuana, Mexico’s largest border city, has an estimated 5,000 people living in more than 30 shelters, Enrique Lucero, the city’s director of migration affairs, said this week.

In Reynosa, Mexico, near McAllen, Texas, nearly 300 migrants – mostly families – crammed into the Casa del Migrante, sleeping in bunk beds and even on the floor.

Rose, 32, from Haiti, has been in the shelter for three weeks with her daughter and 1-year-old son. Rose, who did not give her last name because she feared it could jeopardize her safety and her asylum attempt, said she learned during her journey about possible changes to US policy. She said she was happy to wait a little longer in Mexico for the lifting of restrictions that were enacted at the beginning of the pandemic and that have become the cornerstone of US border enforcement.

“We were scared because of the Haitians being deported,” said Rose, who worries that any mistake in trying to bring her family to the US could result in her being sent back to Haiti.

Inside Senda de Vida 2, a Reynosa shelter opened by an evangelical Christian pastor when his first place was full, some 3,000 migrants are living in tents set up on concrete slabs. cardboard and coarse gravel. Flies flew everywhere under the hot sun even though it was mid-December.

For many fleeing violence in Haiti, Venezuela and elsewhere, such shelters offer at least some safety from gangs that control journeys through the Rio Grande and hunt down migrants. .

In McAllen, about 100 migrants who evaded asylum restrictions lay on carpets on Thursday in a large hall run by Catholic Charities, waiting to be transported to family and friends across the country. throughout the United States.

Gloria, 22, from Honduras, eight months pregnant with her first child, held a piece of paper with the words: “Please help me. I don’t speak English.” Gloria also did not want her last name used out of fear for her safety.She expressed concern about navigating the airport alone and arriving in Florida, where she has a family acquaintance.

Andrea Rudnik, co-founder of an all-volunteer migrant welcome association in Brownsville, Texas, across the border with Matamoros, Mexico, was worried about having enough winter coats for the migrants coming from warmer climates.

“We don’t have enough supplies,” she said Friday, noting that donations to Team Brownsville have dropped.

Title 42, part of the 1944 public health law, applies to all nationalities but applies disproportionately to those whom Mexico agrees to withdraw — Guatemalans, Hondurans, El Salvadorans and more recently Venezuelans, in addition to Mexicans.

According to court filings on Friday, Border Patrol agents intercepted single adults 143,903 times along the Mexican border in November, down 9% from 158.639 times in October and the lowest level since August. Nicaraguans become the second-largest nationality at the border among single adults after Mexicans, overtaking Cubans.

Single adults in Venezuela were stopped 3,513 times by Border Patrol agents in November, down from 14,697 a month earlier, showing the impact of Mexico’s October 12 decision to accept unmarried adults. emigrated from the South American country deported from the United States

Single adults in Mexico were stopped 43,504 times, down from 56,088 times in October, more than any other nationality. Nicaraguan adults were intercepted 27,369 times, up from 16,497. Cuban adults were stopped 24,690 times, up from 20,744.

In a related development, a federal judge in Amarillo, Texas, on Thursday ruled that the Biden administration wrongly ended a key Trump-era policy aimed at keeping asylum seekers waiting in Mexico to be heard in US immigration court. The ruling has no immediate impact but could prove a long-term setback for the White House.

The “Stay in Mexico” policy was used to force about 70,000 asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for US hearings after it was introduced in January 2019. Biden suspended the policy. book on his first day in office, leading to a long and tortured administrative and legal road. Thousands of migrants await end of Title 42 at Mexico border

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