Tuesday, January 31, 2023

A chaotic year at the US-Mexico border foreshadows more trouble to come

The COVID-19 pandemic and other efforts by the US government to block access to asylum significantly affected immigration policy and enforcement in the United States in 2022.

In various reports, US border officials and immigration associations say the numbers reflect worsening economic and political conditions in some countries that are driving people to the southern border with the intention of immigrating to the US.

One of the most popular guidelines title 42, a policy that allows for the immediate removal of migrants during public health emergencies. It was implemented under former President Donald Trump at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. President Joe Biden wants it to end by December 31.

“We need to recognize that policy justification is no longer in the first place,” said Nicolas Palazzo, an immigration attorney with the Immigration Advocacy Center for America and a precinct member with the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. “The policy was put in place at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and was used as a means to adequately prevent transmission of the virus.”

Palazzo, who works directly with detained and non-detained immigrants, said historically border policy has been guided primarily by executive action, through the signing of decrees.

“Because Congress hasn’t really come together to legislate an immigration policy proposal,” he said. visa on arrival“And because it relies on executive action to guide border policy, it forms For this to enforce policy as it changes during each administration and give the president the unilateral power to essentially change what’s happening on the ground.”

title 42 expected It will end on 21 December. after a federal judge in Washington ordered his suspension.

But conservative-leaning states appealed to the US Supreme Court, arguing that eliminating Title 42 would cause “irreparable harm” because they would require resources on law enforcement, education and other services to help newly arrived immigrants. would be expected to spend.

Chief Justice John Roberts given a temporary suspension A response from the Biden administration is pending.

On Tuesday, the Biden administration urged the court to deny a request by 19 Republican-led states to uphold Title 42 restrictions on the US-Mexico border. He also requested an additional week before the guidelines were lifted to allow for an “orderly transition to Title 8 operations.”

subject to title 8

Title 8 is the immigration law adopted by Congress that deals with immigration and nationality.

Under Title 8, people who arrive at the border without documents or attempt to enter between ports of entry can be removed without an immigration court deciding their case. However, if a migrant wishes to apply for asylum, he or she is interviewed by an asylum officer before being expelled or deported.

Federal law allows people from other countries to seek asylum in the US if they fear persecution in their countries. They must appear in the US and show fear of persecution.

Immigration experts pointed out that Title 8 has always been in use at the border, even during the pandemic.

According to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data, 1,299,437 immigrants were processed under Title 8 in fiscal year 2022. This means that he was quickly removed without a court of law. Immigration decide their case or they were allowed to enter. After passing a credible verification, they fear being investigated by an asylum officer and may continue their case in the immigration courts where they apply for asylum, in order to avoid deportation.

If immigrants do not pass a credible threat assessment or if their case is rejected in immigration court, they are deported from the US and barred from applying for future legal immigration visas.

In May, after the administration’s initial attempt to eliminate Title 42, VOA talks to Luis MirandaA CBP spokesperson, who said that officers were “preparing to re-process any encounters across the border as we always do under Title 8, which is the immigration rule that has always been in place. United States throughout the history of U.S. Customs and Border Protection”.

Miranda said the US government expected to increase arrivals at the southern border, but added that those unable to establish legal grounds to stay in the United States would be turned away.

“We are planning it,” he said. “and to process any encounter effectively and humanely. But ultimately, if someone is attempting to enter without legal authorization and they don’t have a legal basis to stay, the removal process Will be kept in.”

In addition to Title 8, the US Department of Homeland Security announced in mid-December that it was implementing a plan to manage the growing flow of migrants across the US-Mexico border, including Venezuelan asylum seekers who meet certain requirements. A new procedure is also included for those. Fly directly to the United States and prevent them from traveling overland to the southwest border.

US immigration officials also called for more Border Patrol agents in their fiscal year 2023 budget and increased use of CBP One, a mobile app where asylum seekers can submit documents and schedule appointments at ports of entry.

The Biden administration also said it has quickly streamlined the border process to prosecute “evasive arrest”, “repeat offenders” or “participants in smuggling attempts”.

Demographics on the Border

A November analysis by the Washington-based Office on Latin America (WOLA), a human rights organization, shows that, until recently, Mexico “was almost always the number one country of origin for migrants at the interstate border.” United States and Mexico. As of 2012, more than 85% of the migrants apprehended by the Border Patrol were Mexican citizens. By 2019, that figure had dropped to 20%.

WOLA also shows that Cuban migrants at the border increased significantly after the Nicaraguan government abolished visa requirements for Cubans in November 2021, making it easier for them to travel across the US-Mexico border.

“Mexico does not allow US officials to remove Cubans across the land border under Title 42, and Cuba does not allow removal flights to the US. 98% of Cubans detained at the border in 2022 combined was processed under normal immigration law in the United States,” according to WOLA.

Under the Cuban Adjustment Act passed in 1996, Cuban immigrants will be able to apply for permanent resident status after one year and one day in the United States. In November, the Cuban government agreed to accept American deportation flights once again.

Other nationalities expected to increase arrivals at the US-Mexico border in 2022 include Venezuela, Nicaragua, Colombia, Haiti, China and Turkey.

Title 42 has been used in most encounters since March 2020. However, for fiscal year 2022, data indicates that 1,079,507 were expelled and 1,299,437 were prosecuted under Title 8 authority.

Not all titles represent the 42 encounter individuals, as some migrants have attempted the crossing multiple times.

So far in fiscal year 2023, which began on October 1, US border officials have recorded 230,678 encounters with migrants. Of those, 78,477 were expelled, meaning they were returned to Mexico under Title 42 without legal consequences. The rest were detained, granted asylum, granted humanitarian parole, or expedited deportation, meaning they were formally processed for speedy removal.

What’s happening at this time frame?

With the impending end of Title 42, thousands of migrants lined up to report to a Border Patrol officer, a development that was anticipated by federal government officials, immigration advocates and border non-profit organizations.

Migrant advocates in Reynosa, Mexico told visa on arrival That about 750 migrants have arrived daily in recent days.

Hector Silva, a priest in the region who runs one of the largest migrant shelters south of the border, told Senda de Vida visa on arrival Advocates and volunteers have been helping nearly 14,000 families in recent weeks.

“We’ve seen in recent years that people are encouraged to come and then they don’t know where to go,” Silva said.

“And what’s happening right now from Tijuana to Matamoros is that people are waiting, and have been waiting for months. [Algunos] They’ve been waiting for years. And we tell you one thing: don’t risk it. Do not come without knowing what you will face at the border.

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