us lifts title 42 immigration policy, introduces expanded access but increased confusion
US border officials are currently preparing for an influx of migrants at the border with Mexico as Trump-era Title 42 immigration policy expired at midnight on Thursday.
The controversial public health policy used to allow authorities to swiftly remove asylum seekers, using the threat of COVID-19 infections as the justification.
But with the policy now being lifted, the age-old Title 8 will resume ruling the borders. The immigration law will once again allow migrants to apply for legal pathways to enter the US.
Tens of thousands of migrants have gathered at the US-Mexico border. Homeland Security officials predict around 10,000 people could now try crossing into the US every day.
But the actual number of migrants trying to make an entry could be much higher. Meanwhile, the security presence at the border has increased significantly.
Some 24,000 border patrol agents have been deployed, in addition to 1,500 extra troops. US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Nicholas Mayorkas has issued certain warnings too.
“Our borders are not open,” he said, adding migrants caught using illegal means to enter the US would face a five-year ban and could be subject to criminal persecution if they try to re-enter.
Mayorkas asked the people in a statement to not “believe the lies of smugglers.” Meanwhile, the Biden administration is trying to increase the usage of CBP One.
But the application has been criticised by a number of migrants for not functioning the way it should and not allowing them to apply for asylum in the US from Mexico as promised.
Immigration is a significant issue in the upcoming US presidential elections, and Biden’s move to lift Title 42 has drawn flak from some Republican senators.