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What Title 42’s end could mean for migrants waiting on asylum

▶ Watch Video: Migrants await asylum rule change to U.S.-Mexico border

Huddled together at a migrant shelter near the U.S.-Mexico border, a family is on the run.  

The family, made of 36 people, told CBS News’ Manuel Bojorquez they’re being extorted by gangs back home in Michoacan, considered one of Mexico’s most dangerous states.  

They have been near the border for seven months but have been unable to file for asylum due to Title 42.  

“Yesterday we went to the border and they told us that there wasn’t asylum and that they couldn’t take us,” one woman said. “That it [border] was closed. 

The pandemic-era emergency rule grants the government the “power to prohibit, in whole or in part, the introduction of persons and property” to stop a contagious disease from spreading in the U.S.  

The measure has been used to prevent around 1.7 million migrants and asylum seekers from entering the country. But Title 42 hasn’t kept all migrants out. Refugees from war-torn Ukraine are entering the United States through the U.S.-Mexico border. 

The Biden administration is planning to discontinue the restriction but some Republican lawmakers want to keep it in place to prevent an increase in migrant arrivals that could overwhelm U.S. border authorities. 

Some Democrats have joined Republicans in cautioning against what they consider a rushed end to the policy. 

The White House said it anticipates a sharp rise in migrants and is sending additional resources to the border. 

“Title 42 is a public health directive. It’s not an immigration migration enforcement measure and the decision on when to lift title 42 was made by the CDC,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki. 

Pastor Albert Rivera told CBS News that the migrant shelter he runs has been getting calls non-stop since the Biden Administration said they were going to get rid of Title 42. 

The shelter was already building an expansion to eventually house 1,200 asylum-seekers.
 
“Some of them have been waiting a year and a half for a permit just to come to the border here because they want to apply, do it legally. But the legal process to allow them to come all the way over here takes too long,” Rivera said.  

He says this latest rise in migration isn’t only about Title 42’s repeal — it is also connected to rising crime and violence across Latin America that is forcing people to flee. 

One policy that won’t end with Title 42 is the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy, which a federal court forced the Biden administration to reinstate and would keep asylum seekers here as their cases are decided. 



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