US asks court to end Title 42 asylum limits after Christmas

The Biden administration is asking the Supreme Court to end Title 42 asylum restrictions, but has asked the court to delay until at least after Christmas.

WASHINGTON — Texas sends National Guard troops to the border, and businesses in San Diego anticipate a wave of Christmas shoppers from Mexico, as tens of thousands of asylum-seekers at the border await the ruling. The Supreme Court may allow them to enter the United States.

The U.S. government asked the Supreme Court not to lift the pre-Christmas restrictions in a filing a day after Chief Justice John Roberts issued a temporary order to keep the pandemic restrictions in place. immigrant. Before Roberts issued that order, restrictions that allowed officials to deport many, but not all, asylum seekers expired on Wednesday.

Migrants have been denied the right to seek asylum, guaranteed by US and international law, 2.5 million times since March 2020 on the pretext of preventing the spread of COVID-19 under the rule. public health named Title 42.

The federal government also asked the court to reject a last-minute attempt by a group of conservative states to uphold the measure. It acknowledged that ending the restrictions would likely lead to “a temporary disruption and increase in illegal border crossings,” but said the solution was not to extend the rule indefinitely.

With a decision on what comes next, pressure is mounting in communities along both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

In El Paso, Democratic Mayor Oscar Leeser warned that shelters across the border in Ciudad Juárez were overcrowded, with an estimated 20,000 migrants preparing to enter the US.

The city rushes to expand its capacity to accommodate more migrants by converting large buildings into shelters, as the Red Cross delivers 10,000 cots. Local officials also hope to ease the pressure on shelters by chartering buses to other major cities in Texas or neighboring states, bringing migrants closer to loved ones and homes. grants in collaboration with nonprofit groups.

“We will continue to prepare for whatever is to come,” Leeser said.

Texas National Guard members, deployed by the state to El Paso this week, used barbed wire on Tuesday to fill gaps in the border fence along the banks of the Rio Grande River, where has become a popular crossing point for migrants wading through shallow water to reach El Paso. approached immigration officials in recent days. They used loudspeakers to announce in Spanish that it was illegal to cross. Several hundred people gathered along the barbed wire fence separating them from the National Guard.

Texas said it was sending 400 National Guard personnel to the border city after local officials declared a state of emergency. Leeser said the statement was primarily intended to protect vulnerable migrants, while a statement from the Texas National Guard said the deployment included forces used to ” repel and return illegal immigrants.”

In San Diego, a sense of normalcy returned to the nation’s busiest border crossing despite the uncertainty that led to Roberts’ decision. The San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce said it learned from U.S. Customs and Border Protection that the more modern western half of the airport-sized pedestrian crossing will reopen. back to tourists arriving in the United States at 6 a.m. Wednesday. The lanes lead to the upscale shopping mall, which has been closed to almost all migrants since early 2020 to accommodate Title 42 processing.

The reopening comes “just in time for last-minute shoppers, visiting family members and those working during the holiday season,” the council wrote to members. It said it did not know when the area would reopen to tourists arriving in Mexico from the United States.

Immigration advocates have said that the Title 42 restrictions, imposed under the provisions of the 1944 health law, go against U.S. and international obligations to people fleeing to the United States. United States to escape repression and that excuse is obsolete as coronavirus treatments improve. They sued to end the use of Title 42; a federal judge sided with them in November and set a deadline of December 21.

Conservative countries have appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that rising numbers of migrants will harm public services such as law enforcement and healthcare, and warned of an “unprecedented disaster” on the southern border. They said the federal government had no plan to deal with the increase in migrants.

The federal government has countered the appeal and told the court on Tuesday it has focused more resources on the southern border in preparation for the end of Title 42. That includes multiple coordinators. more Border Patrol handling, more surveillance and increased security at ports of entry, according to the administration of President Joe Biden.

About 23,000 agents are currently deployed to the southern border, according to the White House.

“The solution to that immigration problem cannot be indefinitely prolonging a public health measure that is now universally acknowledged to have outlived its public health justification.” The Biden administration wrote in a summary sent to the Supreme Court.

However, the government is also asking the courts to give them some time to prepare if they decide to allow the restrictions to be lifted. If the Supreme Court acts before Friday, the government wants the restrictions in place through December 27. If the court acts on Friday or later, the government wants the restrictions to remain in place until December 27. up to the second business day after the order.

At a church shelter in El Paso, a few blocks from the border, Father Michael Gallagher said local faith leaders were trying to pool resources and open up space. On Tuesday, a gym at Sacred Heart Church provided shelter to 200 migrants – mostly women and children.

Title 42 allows the government to deport asylum seekers of all nationalities, but disproportionately affected people from the countries Mexican citizens have agreed to take in: Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and nearly this is Venezuela, outside of Mexico.

Santana reports from Washington, DC Juan Lozano of Houston and Alicia Fernández of Ciudad Juárez contributed to this report. US asks court to end Title 42 asylum limits after Christmas

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