1683942271 Title 42 Expired At The US Mexico Border Now What

Title 42 Expired At The US-Mexico Border: Now What?

At 11:59 p.m. this Thursday, Washington time, Title 42 lost its impact on the lives of the thousands of migrants who arrive each day at the border that separates Mexico from the United States. It was a rule enacted by the Donald Trump administration under the pretense of halting the progression of the pandemic. It allowed for the rapid expulsion of migrants, who were sent back to Mexico within minutes. Its extinction opens a new era in migratory relations between the two countries. And it leaves a whole host of questions that the Joe Biden administration believes will be resolved over the weeks.

This rule co-existed with Title 8, which held alone for decades until March 2020. It was up to immigration officials to decide whether to apply one rule or the other. In practice, they had mostly opted for Title 8 for weeks. Title 42 was only used 17% of the time, a Border Patrol agent told EL PAÍS Thursday in El Paso, Texas.

In fiscal year 2022, which runs October through May, Title 8 applied to more than 1.15 million border detainees, compared to just over 1.08 million where Title 42 prevailed.

The 8 provides for a tightening of the requirements for an asylum application. As a result, the Barack Obama administration was able to deport more than three million migrants within eight years. The regulation now contains innovations: Anyone wishing to apply for asylum must apply for it via a mobile application in their country of origin, so that they can travel with the certainty that they will be considered.

Migrants housed by border police between the two walls between Tijuana (Mexico) and San Diego (USA) this Thursday.Migrants protected by border police between the two walls separating Tijuana (Mexico) and San Diego (USA) this Thursday. Gladys Serrano

This obligation has been criticized by migrants, who find it difficult to use, forcing them to have good internet access, which cannot always be taken for granted.

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If they arrive in the United States without meeting this requirement or not eligible for asylum, they will be deported. This deportation would result in a ban on trying again for at least five years. If they are caught trying to cross the border again during this time, they face prison terms in the United States. Deportations are carried out to their countries of origin, except in cases where there are no agreements in this regard.

Asylum seekers in the United States wait in a detention center while their application is processed. They have to prove that they are in a situation of “plausible fear”, meaning that wherever they come from, their life is in danger.

Those who pass this test are allowed to stay in the country while their cases are tried in the immigration courts. They receive a document with an appointment with a judge somewhere in the United States that allows them to travel freely across the country. The terms vary between several weeks and several years. Two million cases are currently pending and the judges specializing in migration issues are overloaded.

US officials hope the change will lead to an increase in border crossings, which could reach as many as 13,000 people a day, up from 6,000 on a busy day just a few weeks ago. This will also affect the time immigration officials have to spend on processing. In the 42nd title, between 10 and 30 minutes were enough to decide whether a player was thrown out. The process mandated by the Title 8 rules extends that time to more than an hour.

Migrants' clothing in front of an animal shelter in Tijuana, Baja California, on May 11.Migrants’ clothing in front of an animal shelter in Tijuana, Baja California, on May 11. Gladys Serrano

Also this week, the United States unveiled a new asylum rule that largely barred migrants who transited through another country before reaching the border from seeking asylum in the United States. The rule proposed earlier this year assumes that these people could have taken refuge in these places. Immigrants who book an appointment through the CBP One app are exempt.

The State Department also plans to open about 100 regional processing centers in the Western Hemisphere where immigrants can apply for admission to the United States, Canada or Spain. Little is known about how they intend to implement these plans.

The combination of all these measures, a mix of providing more legal, albeit still limited, options and tightening border security to curb irregular border crossings, aims to deter migrants from crossing the border illegally and prevent an unprecedented surge in asylum-seekers. Experts attest to a global trend that speaks of an unprecedented increase in migration movements.

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