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As it happenedended1683997749

Title 42 expiration – latest: Child migrant dies in US custody as Biden under fire over immigration policy

More than 2.8m people have been turned away from Mexico border since Title 42 was enacted during the pandemic

Ariana Baio,Joe Sommerlad
Saturday 13 May 2023 18:09 BST
Title 42 immigration policy ends Thursday

An unaccompanied child migrant died while in US custody just days before Title 42, the pandemic-era policy that prevented individuals seeking asylum from entering the US on the pretext that they could pose a health risk, expired on Thursday evening.

In anticipation of the policy change, once more restoring the right to an asylum hearing, President Joe Biden enacted new immigration policies which are being harshly criticised for being too restrictive.

Under Mr Biden’s new policies, people from countries other than Mexico will have to request asylum in the country they are coming through before requesting it in the US.

Several organisations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, have filed a lawsuit against the new immigration policies saying they mimic Trump-era ones.

Over the last three years, authorities have effectively used Title 42 as a makeshift solution to the country’s ongoing border crisis, with over 2.8m people turned away since its introduction.

With the policy’s termination, many are worried border towns will become overwhelmed with migrants. Ahead of the expiration, Texas towns El Paso and Brownsville declared an emergency.


Migrants are being lied to by smugglers

People seeking asylum in the United States are being misled but smugglers, according to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Two Venezuelan migrants told BBC that smugglers and other migrants informed them they would not be able to enter the US if they presented themselves at the border so they should illegally cross the barriers.

“We trusted them, and were starting to move into the US. But we were stopped at a road block,” Jon Uzcategui said. “The agents told us that was all false.”

In a White House press conference on Thursday, Mr Mayorkas said that smugglers are falsely telling migrants that they can enter the US if they illegally cross the US-Mexico border

He called on people seeking asylum to enter the US through legal pathways.

“It’s extraordinarily dangerous, Mr Mayorkas said of the journey. “They are in the hands of ruthless smugglers.”

Mr Mayorkas said that they should not trust smugglers as they do not care about migrants well-being, only money.

Ariana Baio12 May 2023 16:00

Biden administration’s attempt to reduce overcrowding blocked by judge

A federal judge in Florida blocked the Biden Administration’s attempt to reduce overcrowding in Border Patrol facilities by releasing migrants “on parole with conditions” into the US.

US District Judge T Kent Wetherell ordered the federal government to stand down the parole policy- one that allows Border Patrol to release migrants into the US without a formal court hearing.

Traditionally, migrant release on parole has been used to reduce overcrowding in border facilities.

The ruling came just hours before the pandemic-era Title 42 came to an end.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas commented on the ruling in an interview with Good Morning America.

“We consider it a very harmful ruling, the practice of releasing individuals when our border patrol facilities, when our border patrol stations are overcrowded is something that each administration has done from administration to administration,” Mr Mayorkas said.

Ariana Baio12 May 2023 16:30

Ted Cruz blames Biden for ‘people who are killed’ while crossing the border

In a series of videos posted to Twitter, Texas Senator Ted Cruz blamed President Joe Biden for the crisis at the border and called on him to come down to the border.

Mr Cruz went to the border of the US and Mexico in Brownsville, Texas where he pointed at thousands of migrants awaiting the end of Title 42 on Thursday evening.

“Joe Biden this is your fault,” Mr Cruz said. “The people who are killed crossing illegally- that’s your fault, the women who are sexually abused crossing illegally- that’s your fault, the children who are brutalised crossing illegally- that’s your fault.”

Mr Cruz also called the influx of migrants and asylum seekers, an “invasion”.

Mr Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas have pointed the finger at Congress when it comes to the border crisis, claiming they had two years to figure out immigration policies and failed to.

Ariana Baio12 May 2023 17:00

Scenes from the US-Mexico border

(Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
Ariana Baio12 May 2023 17:30

ACLU sues Biden Administration over new immigration policies

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) along with several other organisations filed a lawsuit against the Biden Administration, claiming the rule that limits asylum seekers is too restrictive and mimics Trump-era immigration rules.

The lawsuit was filed shortly after midnight on 12 May as Title 42 expired.

“The Biden administration’s new ban places vulnerable asylum seekers in grave danger and violates US asylum laws,” Katrina Eiland, managing attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project said in a press release.

“We’ve been down this road before with Trump. The asylum bans were cruel and illegal then, and nothing has changed now,” Ms Eiland added.

Under President Joe Biden’s new rule, people seeking asylum at the border who are from countries other than Mexico are ineligible unless they have obtained a rare appointment or already attempted to obtain asylum in another country first.

Melissa Crow, director of litigation for the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies said, “People feeling persecution have a legal right to seek asylum, no matter how they reach the border.”

Ariana Baio12 May 2023 18:00

Mobile app for asylum seekers has issues

One of the methods the US Customs and Border Protection have enacted to make the process of asylum more organised is by using a mobile application called CBP One.

However, many have reported that the app does not work well nor is it easily accessible.

Ariana Baio12 May 2023 18:30

13 New York Democrats request Biden ease work authorisation delays

Representatives and Senators from New York co-signed a letter to President Joe Biden on Friday asking that the administration ease delays for migrants to receive work authorisations.

“We write to urge the administration to ease the undue delays in granting work authorizations to asylum seekers,” the letter begins.

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, asylum seekers must wait a minimum of 180 days since their asylum application has been filed to be granted work authorisation.

Additionally, asylum seekers can only apply for work authorisation 150 days after submitting their asylum application and then wait another 30 days to receive employment authorisation documents.

“That means that, for roughly six months after submitting the application, asylum seekers cannot provide for themselves or their families,” the letter says.

“We ask that your administration support the many states, cities, and communities enthusiastically welcoming asylum seekers across this country by increasing the use of parole and decreasing the regulatory 150-day wait period for asylum seekers to apply for work authorization.”

The letter was signed be Senators Charles Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand as well as Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jerrold Nadler, Grace Meng, Hakeem Jeffries, Nydia Velazquez, Jamaal Bowman, Yvette Clarke, Daniel Goldman, Adriano Espaillat, Ritchie Torres and Gregory Meeks.

Ariana Baio12 May 2023 19:00

What comes next after Title 42?

Nearly three million people seeking asylum in the US have been barred from entering the country under a public health order issued by Donald Trump.

Without Title 42, authorities will return to enforcement under Title 8, which outlines the process for seeking asylum, and swiftly expel people under an “expedited removal” process and ban them from trying to re-enter for another five years.

The end of Title 42 also begins a new series of immigration policies under the Biden administration, which will presume people crossing through Mexico to reach the southern border are ineligible for asylum unless they first sought refuge from a country they passed through – or unless they made an appointment through an app run by the US government to be screened.

Alex Woodward reports:

What comes next after Title 42?

The end of a Trump-era public health order brings new barriers for people seeking asylum in the US

Ariana Baio12 May 2023 19:30

Unaccompanied migrant child dies while in custody of US

An unaccompanied migrant child died while in the custody of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the White House confirmed on Friday.

In a press briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the White House was “aware of the tragic loss” and President Joe Biden had been briefed on it.

“There is a medical investigation that was opened on May 10,” Ms Jean-Pierre said.

The HHS said in a statement that they were “deeply saddened by this tragic loss and our hearts go out to the family, with whom we are in touch,” according to NBC News.

Ariana Baio12 May 2023 20:00

End of Title 42 does not alter maritime migration policy

Although the end Title 42 will change how migrants can enter the US legally from the southern border, it will not change maritime migration policies, according to the US Coast Guard.

In a press release on Friday, the US Coast Guard clarified that Title 42 “never applied to migrants interdicted at sea.”

“US Coast Guard and Task Force partners will continue to rescue and repatriate migrants attempting to enter the United States irregularly by sea. We encourage anyone planning to come to the United States to do so through safe and lawful pathways,” said Rear Adm Brendan McPherson, director of HSTF-SE and commander of the Seventh Coast Guard District.

Mr McPherson discouraged any migrants seeking asylum to avoid taking the seas as they can be dangerous and they will be “immediately repatriated.”

Ariana Baio12 May 2023 20:30

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