Biden administration ends Title 42, controversial pandemic border policy

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Ending Title 42 will give people the opportunity to start a process that many of them haven’t gotten since the policy was implemented two years ago under then-President Donald Trump. .

Video Transcript

ESMERALDA FLORES: This illegal policy has been used to send more than 1.7 million people back to harm’s way.

DULCE GARCIA: It’s definitely a moment to celebrate as Title 42 should never have been enforced in the first place. But I will say that migrants in the shelters we support remain skeptical about whether people are actually going to be processed in the United States to make their asylum claim.

Immigration lawyers and advocates say that over the next few weeks we can expect to see chaos, confusion and large groups of asylum seekers lining up at ports of entry, in the hope they have a chance to seek asylum.

DULCE GARCIA: Knowing that the migrants have been very desperate for two years to finally see the doors open to them, they will want to be treated first.

The promise of an end to this policy will give people the opportunity to start a process that many of them have not gotten since it was implemented two years ago under former President Trump.

DULCE GARCIA: So we hope that on May 23 everyone will be treated with dignity and respect. And logistically, that would mean someone would show up at the port of entry, apply for asylum, be allowed into the United States, and spend their day in court here in the United States. And while they wait for those court hearings, stay with their families, stay with loved ones in the United States, throughout the immigration process.

Border Angels have requested a meeting with DHS and we have yet to receive a response from them. And we are one of the few organizations on the ground in Tijuana supporting 17 shelters.

Garcia says there are more than 2,000 migrants in the shelters alone, and thousands more around Tijuana. The Department of Homeland Security estimates that 18,000 migrants will be processed per day on May 23. The agency will deploy more than 600 law enforcement officers to the border on the day the policy is expected to be removed.

DULCE GARCIA: So the concern is that Title 42 has been announced that it will end. While there is no clear plan communicated to organizations on the ground, to migrants, there has been no clear indication of who will be addressed and how the process will unfold.

Garcia says Title 42 has created a huge backlog of asylum claims. And now, with hundreds of Ukrainian and Russian refugees fleeing the war, the backup is even greater. And so we have over 800 Ukrainians currently stuck in Tijuana. And so if we already see a backlog of Ukrainians in Tijuana getting to 23, as more and more Ukrainians are coming to the border, as more and more Russians are heading to Tijuana, and then we have the 2,000 people in our shelters, plus the rest of the people still living in Tijuana hoping to come to the United States, how is the United States going to treat the thousands of people on May 23?

She also notes that orders such as the stay in Mexico policy, which requires migrants to wait in Mexico for their asylum court hearing, remain in place. She hopes that with Title 42 gone, migrants won’t have to wait so long.

DULCE GARCIA: We’ve heard people in our shelters tell us, well, what’s the point of ending Title 42 if Remaining in Mexico is still in place? To the right. They are always going to be in these spaces in Tijuana and sheltered in spaces that are really not safe for them.

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