“We are clear-eyed about the challenges we are likely to face in the days and weeks ahead, which have the potential to be very difficult.”
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said as U.S. authorities prepare for the expiration of Title 42, a public health provision that has been used along the southwest border.
may 11, 2023
Title 42: A COVID-19 era provision re: public health safety allowing the government to quickly expel people attempting entry into the U.S. along the southwest border (rather than letting them remain in the U.S. while their case plays out in the court system). It expires at 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday. Once Title 42 expires, all individuals attempting entry into the U.S. will be processed under immigration law Title 8 – meaning they will either be allowed to stay in the U.S. pursuing asylum, detained, or removed with no legal basis to remain.
Why It Matters: In March 2020, Title 42 was implemented under the COVID-19 national public health emergency. As this emergency declaration expires on Thursday, authorities anticipate a surge in people attempting entry into the U.S. In order to support law enforcement officials, 1,500 active-duty troops are being sent to the border (they won't perform law enforcement duties) – the first 550 arrived on Wednesday. Cities such as El Paso and Laredo, TX, as well as Chicago, have declared states of emergency.
What people are saying: One Venezuelan woman who is in El Paso explained, “Everyone’s afraid for the end of Title 42, that they’ll expel us, that they won’t process us. So much sacrifice to get here for nothing." She previously turned herself into border authorities, however, she is concerned for her nephew who came into the U.S. illegally; with the lifting of Title 42, authorities are urging people who have come into the U.S. illegally to turn themselves in to be "processed by CBP officials and placed on the correct immigration path." Laredo Mayor Victor Trevino said the southern border city is preparing for the end of Title 42 as "if it's a hurricane coming."
Asylum officers, Secret Service agents and troops have surged toward border with Title 42’s expiration hours away (CNN)
Fact Sheet: Department of State and Department of Homeland Security Announce Additional Sweeping Measures to Humanely Manage Border through Deterrence, Enforcement, and Diplomacy (DHS)