In a significant development at the southern border, Title 42, a policy implemented during the pandemic to curb the spread of COVID-19, is set to expire tonight at 11:59 PM.
This policy allowed Border Patrol agents to expel migrants at the border, effectively halting the processing of asylum applications for almost three years.
As a result, overwhelmed holding facilities faced mounting pressure to clear out migrants.
To address the situation, Border Patrol agents have been instructed to release some migrants and provide them with instructions to appear at an immigration office in the United States within 60 days.
This move aims to alleviate the strain on holding facilities while allowing migrants an opportunity to pursue their asylum claims.
As the expiration of Title 42 looms, border towns such as Tijuana and San Ysidro are making preparations for the anticipated influx of migrants.
These areas have already seen the arrival of migrants from various countries, including Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador.
Families have set up tents as they hope for a chance at a new life in the United States.
While some migrants express optimism about the end of Title 42, others remain cautious.
Marcy Daniels, who traveled from Ecuador with her family, had expected an easier passage into the US with the policy’s expiration.
However, the reality of navigating the asylum process remains uncertain for many.
Upon the expiration of Title 42, migrants will be subject to Title 8, which prevents their immediate expulsion or deportation without the opportunity to file an asylum claim.
Customs and Border Patrol agents anticipate an increase in migrants seeking asylum and caution smugglers against exploiting the situation.
Those caught crossing illegally could face a five-year entry ban and potential criminal prosecution for repeat offenses.
As the number of migrants arriving at the border continues to rise, shelters in the area, including those in Tijuana, are already overwhelmed.
Lack of space forces many migrants to stay outdoors, posing challenges such as limited access to basic facilities like bathrooms.
With Title 42’s expiration, the immigration landscape at the southern border is expected to undergo significant changes.
The impact of these changes on both migrants and border enforcement will become clearer in the coming days and weeks.