Ariana Baio and Joe Sommerlad
Sat, 13 May 2023 at 6:09 pm BST
An unaccompanied child migrant died while in US custody just days before Title 42, the pandemic-era policy that prevented individuals seeking asylum from entering the US on the pretext that they could pose a health risk, expired on Thursday evening.
In anticipation of the policy change, once more restoring the right to an asylum hearing, President Joe Biden enacted new immigration policies which are being harshly criticised for being too restrictive.
Under Mr Biden’s new policies, people from countries other than Mexico will have to request asylum in the country they are coming through before requesting it in the US.
Several organisations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, have filed a lawsuit against the new immigration policies saying they mimic Trump-era ones.
Over the last three years, authorities have effectively used Title 42 as a makeshift solution to the country’s ongoing border crisis, with over 2.8m people turned away since its introduction.
With the policy’s termination, many are worried border towns will become overwhelmed with migrants. Ahead of the expiration, Texas towns El Paso and Brownsville declared an emergency.
- What is Title 42?
- Who is allowed in the United States after Title 42 expires?
- Homeland Security Secretary warns against illegal crossings
- Biden administration’s attempt to reduce overcrowding blocked by judge
- Unaccompanied migrant child dies while in custody of US
What is Title 42?
Thursday 11 May 2023 15:28 , Ariana Baio
In an effort to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in March 2020, the CDC issued a public health order that allowed authorities to prevent migrants and asylum seekers at US borders from entering the country.
Over the last three years, Title 42 was used to turn away more than 2.8 million people seeking asylum from the US’s southern border.
But with the end of the Covid-19 the public health emergency comes the end of Title 42.
What was once used to manage the border will now end at 11.59pm EST, causing an influx of migrants.
Read more from The Independent:
What is Title 42 and why is it ending this week?
Photos from US-Mexico border increase in asylum seekers
Thursday 11 May 2023 16:04 , Ariana Baio
Biden’s plan to replace Title 42
Thursday 11 May 2023 16:20 , ariana.baio
Title 42 has been used as a temporary solution to the US’s border crisis for the last three years but as it comes to an end tonight, President Joe Biden will have to replace it with new policies.
Mr Biden indicated these new policies in a fact sheet released in January.
Here’s what he plans to do:
- Expand the parole process for up to 30,000 nationals of Nicaragua, Haiti and Cuba per month who have eligible sponsors and pass background checks. These people may come to the US for a period of two years and receive work authorisation.
- Increase the use of expedited removal to the country of origin for individuals who attempt to enter the US without permission or without a legal basis to remain. These individuals are also subject to a five-year ban on re-entry.
- Increase refugee admissions from Latin America and Caribbean countries.
- Launch a mobile application for migrants to schedule appointments to reduce wait times and crowds at US ports of entry.
- Increase humanitarian assistance by $23m in Mexico and Central America.
- Open legal pathways to the US via other countries like Canada, Mexico and Spain.
- Expand agents and active-duty military personnel to help Border Patrol.
White House expected to conduct briefing
Thursday 11 May 2023 17:10 , Ariana Baio
The White House is expected to brief reporters and respond to questions about Title 42 ending at 1pm EST today.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will be joined by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Locals in border towns call the situation ‘a real crisis’
Thursday 11 May 2023 17:30 , Ariana Baio
Border towns are already overwhelmed by the number of migrants and asylum seekers hoping to cross over into the US legally and with Title 42 coming to an end tonight, many are worried for what’s to come.
“It’s a real crisis,” said Father Rafael Garcia, a priest at Sacred Heart Church in El Paso, Texas told The New York Times.
Over 600 migrants are seeking temporary shelter in El Paso as they await the end of Title 42 to then enter the US legally, according to the El Paso Times.
But without places to stay, people have made makeshift shelters on the street.
“If this is now, what is it going to look like after May 11? How is this going to unfold?” Father Garcia said.