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Title 42: America Prepares for Rule Expiry

Lifting Title 42 eliminates a key tool the federal government has used for more than three years to reduce the number of immigrants entering the United States. In total, half of all migrants detected at the border since March 2020 have been removed within minutes under the measure.

Title 42 will be unavailable beginning Friday morning, a shutdown in conjunction with the COVID-19 national health emergency. But in recent months the Biden administration has developed an arsenal of strategies to help avoid a chaotic situation at the border.

This amounts to a carrot and stick approach.

The carrot, or incentive, is to create legal pathways to the U.S., discouraging immigrants from showing up at the border and encouraging them to apply from their home countries instead.

Carrot means adopting tougher asylum rules that make it more difficult for those who cross the border illegally to seek protection in the United States.

Taken together, lifting Title 42 may result in a smaller-than-expected increase in migration, or may come earlier. Border crossings have already increased sharply as more migrants try to cross before the operation ends on Thursday night. Some have expressed concern about tighter regulations and uncertainty.

These are some of the new measures:

Humanitarian Permission: People from Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba and Nicaragua can claim it. They need a friend or relative to take financial responsibility, and if approved, they can fly directly to the US. Up to 360,000 people could attend the event this year, with 100,000 so far. It is known in English Humanitarian parole.

Regional Centers: The government recently announced the establishment of centers to screen asylum seekers across Latin America to determine whether they are eligible for refugee status or other legal means of entering the United States. In total, about 100 regional centers will be established, starting in Colombia and Guatemala.

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Mobile Application: Earlier this year, the government launched CBP One, a mobile app that allows immigrants near the Mexican border or in Mexico City to schedule an interview at an official port of entry. The aim was to streamline the immigration process and nearly 80,000 people managed to get the appointment. But places are few compared to high demand, and technical failures have frustrated the efforts of many migrants who have been trying to book an appointment for months.

Digital Ads: The government has launched a digital advertising campaign in Latin America and the Caribbean to counter misinformation spread by smuggling rings that entry into the US is guaranteed after the repeal of Title 42. Consequences of border travel and illegal entry into the United States.

More resources: The U.S. is sending 1,500 troops to the border and adding more staff to handle the time-consuming job of processing migrants at border facilities. The number of deportation flights to bring people back to their home countries is also increasing.

New Asylum Rule: Under the old system, which critics call “catch and release,” many immigrants who came to the U.S. sought asylum and were allowed to stay in the country until their case was resolved in immigration court.

The Biden administration’s new rule deems people who did not use legal means to enter the U.S. to be ineligible for asylum when they appear at the border. Immigrants at the border can rebut this presumption only if they have previously sought asylum or protection en route to the United States, thereby being denied asylum in the United States, or by showing exceptional circumstances, such as a medical emergency.

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They can get a phone interview from a border detention center with an asylum officer, and if they’re found ineligible to apply they’ll be quickly deported. Unlike Title 42, they get a permanent mark on their record, which bars them from entering the U.S. for five years and could face criminal charges.