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Migrants At U.S.-Mexico Border Await Ruling On Title 42

Francisco Palacios waited for four hours with his wife and 3-year-old daughter at a border crossing between Tijuana and San Diego early Wednesday before going to a nearby hotel for a nap, reports the Associated Press. The family from the western Mexican city of Morelia is prepared to wait for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether and when to lift pandemic-era restrictions that have prevented many from seeking asylum. They’re among thousands of migrants gathered along the Mexican side of the border, camping outside or packing into shelters as the weather grows colder. The limits on border crossings had been set to expire Wednesday before conservative-leaning states sought the high court’s help to keep them in place. Texas National Guard members took up positions in El Paso at the behest of the state, while volunteers and law enforcement officers worried that some migrants could succumb to the cold. Nighttime temperatures have been in the 30s and will be colder in the coming days.

In Tijuana, about 5,000 migrants were staying in more than 30 shelters and many more renting rooms and apartments. Layered walls rising 30 feet along the border with San Diego make the area daunting for illegal crossings. Under Title 42, officials have expelled asylum-seekers inside the U.S. 2.5 million times, and turned away most people who requested asylum at the border, on grounds of preventing the spread of COVID-19. Immigration advocates say the restrictions go against U.S. and international obligations to people fleeing to the U.S. to escape persecution, and that the pretext is outdated as coronavirus treatments improve. Conservative-leaning states appealed to the Supreme Court, warning that an increase in migration would take a toll on public services and cause an “unprecedented calamity” that they said the federal government had no plan to deal with. In response, Chief Justice John Roberts issued a temporary order to keep the restrictions in place. States filed a response early Wednesday, arguing that letting the restrictions expire while the court reviews the lower court decision would cause “immediate, severe, and irreversible harms” to the states.


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