For more than a year, the Biden administration on the southern border of the United States maintained a Trump-era policy known as Title 42, which allowed the United States to expel migrants quickly to their country of origin or Mexican border towns.
On April 1, the administration announced that the policy would end on May 23 and give US officials time to prepare for what they expect to be an increase in the number of migrants arriving at the US-Mexico border.
Some Democrats celebrated the end of the 42nd title, but Republicans want to keep the policy in place.
Here’s what you need to know.
What is Title 42?
Title 42 comes from the Public Health Act of 1944 to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. It was implemented in March 2020 by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC ordinance authorized border control agencies to remove migrants entering the United States, including those hoping to apply for asylum, which is their right under US law and international conventions.
How did deportations work?
When Title 42 was introduced on the US-Mexico border, immigrants met by border guards were sent back to Mexico within hours or back to their country of origin within a few days – without any immigration process.
Theresa Cardinal Brown, director of immigration and cross-border policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said the policy meant “no legal consequences” for migrants trying to cross ports of call.
Brown said without Title 42: “It would be a consequence that would make it harder for them to return legally under immigration law. So, using Title 42, it had no effect, and because what we saw were many immigrants, especially Mexicans. ., who had been sent back to Mexico, simply to try again, “which encouraged a significant increase in repeated border crossings.
What is the latest data from the southern border?
According to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the title 42 has been used in most of the estimated 2 million deportations of migrants from Brazil, Central America, Haiti, Mexico and Colombia since March 2020. Other asylum seekers from Latin America have also been rapidly closed in ports of entry according to the policy.
In February, US border officials registered 164,973 immigrants. Of these, 91,513 were deported. The others could have been detained, allowed to apply for asylum, receive probation or other options.
In February 2021, CBP recorded 101,099 acquaintances with migrants and in February 2020, just before the 42nd title, they were 36,687. In 2019, the last year before the pandemic, there were 76,545 meetings in February.
Brown said the rate of repeated attempts at review is thought to be 30% higher during Title 42.
“Before that, the recurrence rate was relatively low, below 10%,” she said.
What about those who were not expelled?
The migrant workers who came to the United States for asylum – mostly unaccompanied children and migrant families with children – were notified to appear in a foreign court. With the current accumulation of 1.7 million cases by immigration courts, the asylum process can take many years.
What could happen at the border after May 23?
Luis Miranda, a spokesman for the CBP, told VOA that officials will “simply go back to working out all the cross-border issues, as we have always done under Title 8, an immigration authority that has always existed throughout the history of US customs and customs. Border protection. ”
Miranda said the US government expects more arrivals at the southern border, but added that those who could not establish a legal basis to remain in the United States would be removed.
“We have been planning it. … And to process all kinds of encounters effectively, in a humane way. But in the end, if someone is trying to enter without legal authority and has no legal basis to stay, he or she will be put on eviction. , “he said.
How does the law treat immigrants?
Those who arrive at the border without documents or try to enter between ports of call can be removed without their case being heard by a foreign court.
However, if an immigrant wishes to apply for asylum, he or she is questioned by an asylum representative before being deported or deported.
Federal law allows people from other countries to apply for asylum in the United States if they fear persecution at home. They must be present in the United States and show fear of persecution for one of five reasons: race, religion, ethnicity, political opinion, or membership in a particular social class (the most obscure of the five categories; this may include criteria such as sexuality or caste).
If a refugee passes what is called a credible examination of fear by the asylum representative, his case is referred to a foreign court, where the refugee can apply for asylum as a protection against being deported. If they do not pass the examination of fear or are denied in a foreign court, the applicant will be removed. If they try to return without documents, the penalties may be higher, such as being prosecuted under the Penal Code and refusing to apply for a legal visa for future immigrants.
Will Title 42 return?
On April 3, the Republican-led Missouri, Louisiana, and Arizona states argued that the government did not justify its decision to end Title 42.
And, Brown said, it is “very possible” that a judge could “order the board to continue the 42nd title for some time while these lawsuits take place.”
Meanwhile, Republicans blocked a Democrat attempt to start a Senate debate on a $ 10 billion COVID-19 compromise. They demand a referendum aimed at the Biden administration’s decision to end the 42nd title.
Jorge Agobian of VOA contributed to this report.
What is Title 42 and its impact on the southern border of the United States?
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