Social Issues

Migrants eager to reach US border as end of Title 42 draws near

Tapachula, Mexico, May 6 (EFE).- Migrants stranded in this southern Mexican city are desperate to reach the border with the United States ahead of the imminent end of Title 42, a measure that has seen US immigration authorities summarily deport asylum-seekers.

Entire families from Venezuela, Cuba, Guatemala, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, Colombia, Nicaragua, as well as from more distant places such as China and Africa, remain in Tapachula, near Mexico’s southern border, awaiting transit permits that will allow them to resume their northbound journey.

Mexico’s INM migration agency has issued thousands of permits since April 18, but thousands of other migrants have yet to obtain the documents and their attempts to head north without visas have led to clashes with Mexico’s National Guard.

Title 42 allows the exclusion of individuals when “there is serious danger of the introduction of (a communicable) disease into the United States.”

In 2020, then-President Donald Trump invoked Title 42 to order the immediate expulsion of foreigners arriving at the border to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

While Trump’s Democratic successor, Joe Biden, sought to end the application of Title 42, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Republican state governments who challenged the policy change.

But with the pandemic public health emergency set to expire on May 11, Title 42 will no longer be applicable.

The Mexican government has acknowledged a “significant flow” of third-country migrants ahead of the end of Title 42 and Biden has deployed soldiers to the southern border to provide administrative and logistical support for the Border Patrol in the face of an expected surge in people trying to enter the US.

US immigration authorities intercepted more than 2.76 million undocumented migrants at the border during the 12 months that ended Sept. 30, 2022. EFE jmb/dr

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