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Mexican Border Crossers Increase Even With Title 42 Still In Place

For months, migrants from Nicaragua and Colombia, have been wading across the shallow waters of the Rio Grande near El Paso and forming lines to turn themselves in to U.S. border authorities. In Arizona, migrants from Russia, India and South America have been passing through gaps in the border wall and surrendering to U.S. agents. None of them has been held back by Title 42, which was billed as an attempt to close the border against the soaring numbers of migrants unlawfully entering the U.S., reports the New York Times. Migrants are lining the sidewalks in El Paso, where many have been sleeping under donated blankets because shelters are at capacity. Migrants taken into custody in Arizona are being bused to San Diego for processing to avert chaos at crowded holding facilities, and then dropped off at bus stations to head for destinations across the nation. The Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked the Biden administration’s attempt to lift the Trump-era pandemic restriction at the southern border after 19 Republican-led states argued that the rule’s immediate termination would wreak havoc. “Postponing the end of Title 42 will avoid a tiny moment of chaos but doesn’t provide a solution for what is going on at the border,” said Andrew Selee of the think tank Migration Policy Institute. “The reality is that people are coming from a much wider group of countries than ever before, and most aren’t subject to Title 42,” he said. "Title 42 has long lost most of its effectiveness as a deterrence tool.”

Last month, 29 percent of all border crossers were expelled under Title 42, while the vast majority came from a long list of countries, including Colombia, Cuba, India, Nicaragua and Russia, to which Title 42 does not apply.

In thousands of other cases, migrants were allowed to enter the U.S. because they were traveling with children or qualified for some other form of protection under humanitarian law. An unknown number were able to evade authorities and enter without being apprehended. The 2.4 million Border Patrol encounters with migrants in the year that ended on Sept. 30 was a record high. There was a nearly 2000 percent increase in Colombians encountered during that period compared with the previous fiscal year; Indians increased by 607 percent; Cubans by 471 percent; Russians by 430 percent and Nicaraguans by 227 percent. Apprehensions of Hondurans and Guatemalans, countries that made up a large share of the migrants arriving in the U.S. in most recent years, but whose nationals are subject to expulsion under Title 42, were down 33 percent and 18 percent, respectively. “We are pretending that this policy that applies to a small subset of people is going to cure the push factors globally encouraging so many to travel to the border,” said Jeremy Robbins of the American Immigration Council. “Even with Title 42 in place, the numbers are bound to keep increasing.”


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