Brownsville, TX

A Ticking Time Bomb: Title 42's Termination and the Impending Migrant Crisis at the US-Mexico Border

Carl Belen

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‘Risk it all’: Migrant surge as US prepares for Title 42 endPhoto by@orlandosentinel/Twitter

The following information is for 2023. It is for educational purposes. This post includes content assisted by AI.

As the US prepares for the end of Title 42, a policy linked to the COVID-19 pandemic allowing the quick expulsion of many migrants, the US-Mexico border is experiencing a significant surge in migrants, mainly from Venezuela. This surge comes amid concerns that the end of immigration limits under Title 42 might result in even more migrants trying to cross the southern border.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas acknowledged the "extremely challenging" situation at the border during a visit to southern Texas. He mentioned that the US is working with Mexico to address the recent Venezuelan migrant surge and anticipates change "very shortly."

Many migrants are crossing the border through Brownsville, Texas, just north of the Mexican border town of Matamoros. Tragically, a recent incident occurred when an SUV plowed into people waiting at a bus stop across from the city's migrant shelter, resulting in the death of eight people, mostly Venezuelan men.

The Biden administration has been preparing for over a year for the end of Title 42, with a strategy focusing on providing more legal pathways for migrants to reach the US without risking the dangerous journey to the border. This includes setting up centers in foreign countries where migrants can apply to emigrate and a humanitarian parole process with 30,000 slots a month for people from four countries. Starting May 12, appointments will be expanded through the CBP One app.

The strategy also emphasizes consequences, such as proposing a rule that severely limits asylum for migrants who first travel through another country, quickly screening migrants at the border and deporting those deemed unqualified, and a five-year ban on reentry for those deported. However, these consequences have been met with criticism from immigrants' rights groups, and some of the Biden administration's strategy faces legal challenges.

As the end of Title 42 approaches, communities near the border and groups that care for newly arrived migrants are anxious about the potential consequences. Sister Norma Pimentel, who runs Catholic Charities' Humanitarian Respite Center in South Texas, highlighted the difficulties that the latest surge of Venezuelans without connections in the US brings.

Despite the administration's repeated message to schedule appointments through CBP One, many migrants continue to flock to the border under false assumptions that it will be easier to gain entry when Title 42 is lifted, possibly leading to tougher consequences for some.

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