WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) — U.S. authorities reported Monday they detained migrants more than 234,000 times in April, one of the highest numbers in decades as the administration of President Joe Biden prepares to lift restrictions on asylum. imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Office of Customs and Border Protection (CBP for its initials in English) made 234,088 arrests at the border with Mexico last month, an increase of 5.8% compared to 221,303 in March, according to a document from the Department of Justice presented in a lawsuit filed by Texas and Missouri.
April’s total would have been lower without the more than 23,000 people — most of them Ukrainian refugees admitted on humanitarian parole — who came through a San Diego border crossing. The number of Ukrainians has fallen significantly since April 25, when the government began asking those fleeing the Russian invasion to fly to US airports from Europe, rather than enter from Mexico.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to end restrictions on May 23 that have prevented migrants from seeking asylum under U.S. law and international treaties, citing the need to prevent the spread of COVID-19. . Since March 2020, migrants have been removed more than 1.9 million times under the mandate called Title 42, named after a 1944 public health law.
A federal judge in Louisiana is scheduled to rule in favor of the 24 states seeking to keep Title 42 in effect as the litigation unfolds. District Judge Robert Summerhays, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, said he will release his decision by May 23.
Even if the judge allows Title 42 to expire, Congress could try to keep it alive through an alliance between Republicans and some Democrats who worry that the anticipated surge in illegal border crossings will put them on the defensive in a year of legislative elections that are already complicated.