The country prepares for an avalanche of immigrants

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The government unveiled a plan on Tuesday to deal with a surge in the number of migrants arriving at the country’s southern border that is expected to occur when a public health order that has prevented people from applying for asylum is lifted.

A memo from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas outlines a more robust plan to enforce US immigration law without the use of Title 42, which was invoked at the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

“When the Title 42 public health order is lifted, we anticipate that migration levels will increase as smugglers seek to take advantage and profit from vulnerable migrants,” Mayorkas warns in the memo released a day before he appears before the court. Congress on an issue that has become a potent element of the Republicans’ political message.

The plan includes augmenting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and other federal agencies working in the border region, expanding detention capacity through the use of temporary facilities, and aggressively deploying a process known as expedited removal to deport migrants who do not qualify for asylum or other relief under US law.

It also builds on new Department of Homeland Security initiatives designed to streamline the evaluation of migrant claims, such as the deployment of asylum officers to the border to help determine whether someone should be granted temporary legal residency until an immigration court rules on your case.

They await challenges

There is no mention of the fact that a court could soon order the government to back down and halt plans to lift Title 42 on May 23 due to lawsuits filed by some Republican-ruled states.

On Monday, a federal judge in Louisiana said he would issue an order limiting the federal government’s ability to prepare, but left the details of the agreement up to the federal government and the states.

District Judge Robert Summerhays, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, is scheduled for a hearing on May 13 in the lawsuit brought by Louisiana and 20 other states seeking to keep Title 42 in effect. Republican lawmakers and some Democrats have also called on the Biden administration to keep the order in place.

Migrants have been expelled more than 1.8 million times using that rule, which was issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the Trump administration.

They defend nursing homes

Advocates for asylum seekers support withdrawing the rule, which they say endangers people fleeing persecution at home and violates the right to seek protection, which is enshrined in US law and in international treaties. States challenging the administration say the United States is unprepared for a likely influx of immigrants as a result of the end of the rule, which would put pressure on public services.

The controversy comes amid what the federal government acknowledges are historic numbers of migrants trying to cross the border due to factors including economic and political crises in Latin America, as well as a backlog of people seeking asylum.

The increase in migrant apprehensions is also due in part to Title 42.

THOUSANDS OF EXPELLED RETURN

  • Immigration authorities stopped migrants 221,303 times along the nation’s southwest border in March.
  • It is an increase of 33% compared to what was registered the previous month, according to data from the CBP.
  • But many of those arrests were of people who returned to the country after being expelled based on the public health authority.
  • CBP said the number of individuals apprehended nationally in March reached 159,900, still high but significantly below the total.
  • Officials in the Biden administration argued that the use of expedited removal is more of a deterrent because people subjected to it are inadmissible for five years and can be charged with a felony if they try to return to the country.
  • Under Title 42, there are no legal consequences and many people just turn around and go back.

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