Mass influx of migrants expected to cross into US as Title 42 expires

Paso Canoas/Tapachula/El Paso, May 11 (EFE).- Thousands of migrants are waiting at Costa Rica-Panama and Guatemala-Mexico border crossings for an immigration policy known as Title 42 to end so they try and cross into the United States without risking being immediately deported.

Introduced by former president Donald Trump, Title 42 allowed US authorities to quickly deport migrants, citing health reasons.

As it expires on Thursday night, it is set to be replaced by Title 8, which also restricts access to asylum and is unknown to many of them.

Venezuelan Joan Collado wishes to enter the United States “legally,” saying he had enough of the extreme conditions at the Darien Gap, the border between Colombia and Panama.

“No, I don’t dare (to cross the border between Mexico and the United States irregularly). We don’t want that anymore. What we want is to go legal,” the 39-year-old who just crossed Costa Rica’s Paso Canoas tells Efe.

After arriving in Costa Rica without anyone asking him for documents, a bus was waiting to take him to Nicaragua.

The ticket to the Nicaraguan border costs $32, in addition to the $400 he has spent since he left Venezuela.

Collado says he has everything planned, but the problem is that “what they say today, changes tomorrow,” referring to Title 42, which ends without a clear explanation of the immigration policies that will replace it.

While passing through the Darien Gap, Collado says he had seen people drowning in the river and others fainting due to lack of food and drinking water.

There was “a Haitian who hanged himself because his wife had a miscarriage on the way.

“Around 80 people were robbed … It was quite traumatic for them because they arrived with nothing and now they have to beg the rest of the way.”

In the Mexican city of Chiapas, thousands of migrants from several dozen countries are moving towards Mexico City to try and reach the northern border on Thursday before the end of Title 42.

Colombian Yuris Pizarro, traveling with seven children, her husband, and some friends, hopes to arrive before the end of Title 42 due to uncertainty over what will happen next.

“We do not come here for pleasure but rather to change our lives and the future for our children,” she says.

Not all those seeking a better life in the “land of opportunity” end up succeeding in the trip even after surviving the Darien Gap, the corruption of the Guatemalan police, the freight train that many migrants take in southern Mexico and the drug cartels.

Many get detained and deported. Some hope to begin the asylum application process and others decide to continue their lives as undocumented and face a clandestine life and exploitation.

“There is fear among those of us who remain here, we need an opportunity,” Venezuelan Will Rodriguez tells Efe.

He left Venezuela four months ago, leaving his son and daughter behind to seek a better future, “because in our country, unfortunately, the dictatorship does not let us move forward.”EFE


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