Social Issues

US extension of Title 42 raises criticism, concern on Mexican border

Mexico Desk, Dec 28 (EFE).- The decision of the United States Supreme Court to extend the pandemic-era Title 42 immigration policy has raised criticism and concern among activists and undocumented migrants in northern Mexico who expected the expiry of the regulation and to be able to seek asylum in that country.

Horvat, a Venezuelan migrant who is still in the border city of Tijuana hoping to obtain asylum, told EFE that the court decision only generates greater uncertainty for migrants, who have to continue waiting in Mexico.

He added that “this situation is sad” for him, since it changes the whole outlook for migrants, especially for those who have been waiting for months, even years, “for an opportunity to reach the United States and start a better life.”

For activists, the continuation of this policy is nothing more than “one more example of the prevailing racism in the United States.”

“(It) does not surprise me, although it is outrageous, because they are recycling a policy that clearly makes electoral sense,” activist Judith Cabrera, co-director of the Border Line Crisis shelter, told EFE.

Pastor Albert Rivera Colon, director of the Ágape Misión Mundial shelter, said that “the United States government does not want to address a problem that they themselves have caused.”

Both predict that when the borders open it will be a challenge to receive all the people, “but it is a challenge that has to be faced, and above all, it has to be overcome,” said Rivera.

Cabrera asserted that “holding on to this law that no longer has any use is terribly racist.”

Activists in Monterrey, in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo León, agreed that the measure is discriminatory and xenophobic, since former US president Donald Trump put it in place under the guise of containing Covid-19.

“It seems extremely discriminatory and xenophobic to me,” said Katia Cavazos, a licensed psychologist and founder of Realidad Migrante NL, in an interview with EFE.

She recalled that President Joe Biden had asked for the end of Title 42. It was due to expire on Dec. 21 but this is now being challenged in court.

Francisco Javier Calvillo, director of the Casa de Migrantes in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, pointed out that maintaining the policy is “a violation of the political asylum law. I think it is a violation of human rights.”

Thousands of migrants remain in this city waiting for the opportunity to obtain asylum in the US and their concerns are that they face insecurity, mistreatment by authorities, the cold weather and the search for work in order to survive, which is often complicated by not having papers or permits to work legally in the country.

“There are people who go out to work and people don’t want to give them work, (because) they don’t have a migration permit,” Edward Basave, a migrant who has been in the city for several days, told EFE.

Reynaldo, a migrant from Venezuela, said: “We feel discouraged, really. We don’t know what to do (…) we all have families and well, even we, my wife and I, left three children and we don’t even know what to do.”

Desperation is pervasive among the 7,000 migrants in Matamoros, a city that borders Brownsville, Texas, who do not know whether to wait or enter the Rio Grande to push their way into the US.

“Now with Title 42 we will continue waiting – who knows how much longer. That is the concern that many people here have who are registered in the (asylum) processes,” Venezuelan Vanesa Fernández told EFE.

She said that on Wednesday they were contemplating jumping into the Rio Grande to turn themselves in to the American authorities, but her husband woke up sick so they didn’t do it.

The situation has pushed children and adults once again to get on inflatable mattresses to try to cross the river to reach the US.

“We have been here for a long time and there is no money. We lined up, we did this, they never called us, we can no longer continue,” said Nicaraguan María del Carmen. EFE

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