Monday, September 26, 2022

US prepares for an even busier border amid improving health system

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – The Biden administration released a plan Tuesday to deal with an expected surge of migrants already in large numbers There are plans to lift a public health order at the US-Mexico border that bars people from seeking asylum – and that Republicans and some Democratic lawmakers say should be put in place.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. A memo from Meyerkas outlines a more robust effort to enforce US immigration law without the use of Title 42, Which was implemented at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.

“When the Title 42 public health order is lifted, we anticipate that migration levels will rise as traffickers seek to profit and take advantage of vulnerable migrants,” Meyerkas warned in a memo that testified to Congress. Arrives a day before giving. An issue that has become a powerful element in the Republican political message.

The plan includes increasing the number of personnel in the border area from Customs and Border Protection and other federal agencies, expanding detention capacity with the use of temporary facilities, and introducing a process known as rapid eviction to deport refugees. Includes deploying aggressively who does not qualify for asylum. Certain other reliefs under US law.

It also relies on new Department of Homeland Security initiatives aimed at streamlining the assessment of migrant claims, such as the deployment of asylum officers at the border to help determine whether someone should be granted temporary legal residency when until an immigration court rules their case.

The undeclared fact is that lawsuits filed by Republican-led states could soon lead to a court ordering the government to reverse and halt plans to lift Title 42 on May 23.

On Monday, a federal judge in Louisiana said he would issue an order that limits the administration’s ability to prepare but leaves the specifics of the settlement up to the federal government and states.

US District Judge Robert Somerhays, a Trump appointee, has set a hearing for May 13 in a lawsuit by Louisiana and 20 other states seeking to keep Title 42 rights. Republicans and some Democrats in Congress have also urged the Biden administration to continue with the order for now.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday that Republicans are “going to push for a vote to keep the public health system,” possibly as part of an amendment to a $10 billion package of pandemic aid . That demand has put Democrats on the defensive ahead of a fall election in which Congress is in control and some moderates face a competitive race.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.N.Y., acknowledged that the GOP effort is forcing Democrats to try to find a position they can rally to. “There’s division there now,” he said. And Sen. Tim Kaine, D-VA, took the unusual step of criticizing the administration for sending conflicting signals on the issue.

“We are shocked by the administration, some mixed messages around. Is the emergency over or not? Kaine told reporters. “We are confused about it. And until we get the answers to the questions, different people are taken to different places.”

Migrants have been expelled more than 1.8 million times under a rule issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under former President Donald Trump.

Lawyers for asylum seekers support an end to the rule, which they say endangers people fleeing back home from persecution and violates their rights to seek protection under US law and international treaty. States challenging the administration say the US is unprepared for a possible influx of migrants due to the end of the rule, which is putting pressure on public services.

It comes amid the historical number of migrants attempting to cross the border due to factors including economic and political turmoil in Latin America as well as a backlog of people hoping to seek asylum.

The increase in migrant encounters is also partly due to Title 42.

According to US Customs and Border Protection data, immigration officials stopped migrants 221,303 times at the Southwest border in March, a 33% increase from a month earlier.

But many of these encounters were people coming back after being removed under the Public Health Authority. CBP said the number of specific individuals nationwide in March stood at 159,900, which is still higher but significantly lower than the total.

Biden administration officials argue that early expulsion is used more as a deterrent because people subject to it are unacceptable for five years and could be charged with a felony if they attempt to return to the country. Under Title 42, there are no legal consequences and many people just turn around and back down.

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Associated Press writer Alan Fram contributed to this report.

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