Title 42 was a health regulation from the time of the pandemic that allowed the United States government to restrict the entry of people and imports to prevent diseases. In turn, it gave border agents the power to speed up processes and quickly deport millions of migrants. A week after the expiration, the US deported thousands of people to Mexico and 30 other countries, officials said Friday.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reported that, since May 11, it has processed more than 11,000 formal deportations and returns of immigrants who crossed the southern border illegally. In this case, unlike when Title 42 was in effect, those who were deported would face immigration and criminal consequences. With the legality of Title 8, removal from the US is up to five years and a possible prison sentence as well as legal prosecution if they re-offend. On its part, the Joe Biden administration has highlighted the consequences of deportation for stopping migrants.
Among those repatriated since the end of the measure are 1,100 people from Venezuela, Nicaragua, Haiti and Cuba who had to return to Mexico, a country that agreed to welcome people from these countries.
According to a DHS report picked up by US media CBS, crossings reached a record high of 10,000 just before Title 42 expired. Thereafter, an average of 4,400 arrests took place during the last week. Over the past two days, the Border Patrol’s daily average was 3,000, down 70% from the start of the month.
A migrant opens his arms to members of the Texas National Guard standing behind barbed wire on a bank of the Rio Grande, Thursday, May 11, 2023, as seen from Matamoros, Mexico (AP Photo/Fernando Llano).
There is also a rule that disqualifies those entering the US illegally from asylum after failing to obtain protection in a third country on the way. As such, initial controls are difficult and many migrants face deportation. On Friday the DHS reported that asylum officials had interviewed 2,700 in the past week.
In an effort to stop illegal immigration, Mexico and Guatemala have also sent military and police units to block attempts to reach the United States, as have Panamanian and Colombian forces.
Citizens of Venezuela, Nicaragua, Haiti and Cuba have the opportunity to return to Mexico by applying for a program that allows them access to the US, as long as they have financial sponsors. Of these, 30,000 cases come to that country every month. The DHS reported that 7,000 migrants benefited from the policy last week.
Venezuelan migrants sit near the wall of a building to shelter from the rain in Matamoros, Mexico, Saturday, May 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
Among other programs made available to some immigrants is an application known as CBP One, with which in Mexico they can make an appointment to be processed at a port of entry and request asylum in the United States. In its report, DHS noted that an average of 1,070 immigrants were processed per day with this program, which is 740 more than when Title 42 was in force.