Refugees in the U.S. During the COVID-19 Retention Warfare: A Press Release on Immigrants in El Paso
Once they are resettled, the refugees can petition for their immediate relatives to join them in the United States by providing DNA or other evidence of their relationship. The relative would then be interviewed at an embassy by a U.S. official before being approved for travel.
But millions of people are being admitted into the United States outside the traditional refugee program, diverting resources from those who have been waiting for years.
Much attention has been paid to migrants crossing the border in record numbers, in part because of decisions by Republican-led states like Florida and Texas to send some of them to liberal bastions like Martha’s Vineyard as a way to provoke outrage.
Immigration authorities were able to quickly remove many migrants without giving them a chance to apply for asylum under U.S. law. The restrictions were put in place as a public health order by former President Donald Trump’s administration in March 2020 when COVID-19 was just beginning to surge in this country.
In special circumstances, the United States government can grant “parole” to people from other countries, a legal tool that allows them to enter the country but does not automatically confer a green card or citizenship. That is what Mr. Biden’s administration has done in the cases of many refugees from Afghanistan, Ukraine and now Venezuela.
The Biden administration proposed to limit access to asylum. “The ability to seek asylum is a bedrock principle protected by federal law and should never be violated.”
Meanwhile, the border city of El Paso has seen thousands of migrants arrive in recent days. In a press conference Monday night, El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser says shelters in Juarez, Mexcio are full and believes that 20,000 migrants there are waiting to cross into El Paso. The city is moving forward with emergency plans even though there has been a stay.
The Times’ last resort: anonymous sources and the closure of the migrant flow in Juarez, Mexico under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
What we consider before using anonymous sources. The sources know what’s going on. What’s their motivation for telling us? Have they proven to be reliable in the past? Can we corroborate the information? Even with these questions satisfied, The Times uses anonymous sources as a last resort. The reporter and editor know who the source is.
The seven-page document, which states that DHS inherited a “broken and dismantled immigration system,” was published online this week and appears to be an updated version of the plan the department issued in April – the last time Title 42 was scheduled to be lifted. A federal judge blocking the lifting of the public health rule that allows immigration agents to return migrants to Mexico or their home countries.
However, the United States is limited in its ability to expel Nicaraguans under the public health authority for diplomatic reasons. The Biden administration cannot send repatriation flights because Mexico won’t accept them. As a result, most of the Nicaraguans apprehended are released on a short-term parole with a tracking device or sent briefly to Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention, where they are typically released after a few days.
Eventually, they’ll face removal proceedings. The process of getting a warrant and a date to appear in immigration court takes about two hours and can lead to a lot of backups.
The United States has begun sending migrants from Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua to Mexico under the Title 42 program in order to legally come to the United States. Thousands of people have applied.
A caravan of 1,100 migrants was bused into Juarez on Sunday afternoon by the government in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The Mexican government paid about 19 of the buses which were used to take the migrants north.
They didn’t stay long in Jurez. Hundreds of people crossed the border at around 4 p.m., he said. “They left on foot and crossed the river,” Mr. González said.
While Title 42 is in effect, the city of El Paso is developing a plan to deal with a surge of migrants if Title 42 is terminated, according to the deputy city manager.
The document claims that there is a surge of resources to the southern border and that it allows federal agents to focus on field law enforcement duties.
The federal government has also added 10 soft-sided facilities to increase Customs and Border Protection holding capacity by over one-third since 2021, the plan states. The agency says it has more than doubled transportation capacity for detained migrants, as well.
“This includes hundreds of flights and bus routes per week to transport detained noncitizens to less crowded Border Patrol sectors for processing and to remove or return noncitizens to their home or third countries; we will continue to scale up our ground and air transportation capabilities in light of potential increases,” the document states.
According to the six-pillar plan, CBP spends 30% less time processing migrants now compared to early last year – which will help mitigate overcrowding of CBP facilities.
“For noncitizens seeking to evade apprehension, repeat offenders, and those engaging in smuggling efforts, we are increasing referrals for prosecutions,” the plan states.
DHS also plans to continue targeting transnational criminal organizations who smuggle migrants and working with international partners and nongovernmental agencies on the border.
Chuck Schumer’s Call to the White House: Implications for the Biden Border Policy and the Predictive Status of the Trump Era
Sources with knowledge of the call said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke to President Joe Biden’s chief of staff Ron Klain with his concerns over a border proposal reminiscent of the Trump era.
The call from a lawmaker to the White House was indicative of Biden’s precarious position as officials try to appease Democrats and keep Republicans out of the picture when it comes to dealing with asylum seekers.
The increased border crossing is expected since the authorities will no longer be able to expel them as they have been since March 2020.
Schumer and Klain speak regularly and often daily or more in critical moments like the year-end legislative sprint currently underway. A window into a complex policy and political moment is provided by the emergence of the border issue.
The Biden administration has sent mixed messages on Title 42. It has criticized Title 42 and vowed to end its use at the border, but more recently came to rely on the policy.
It’s a dynamic that has played out as the Biden administration intensively prepares for a moment officials have long grappled with how to navigate. To some degree, it’s the latest phase of an effort that has long been underway, with officials keenly aware since the opening days in office that at some point the pandemic-era policy would come to an end. Increased levels are expected in the days ahead, as personnel and technology infrastructure were directed to key entry points.
Asked about concerns inside the administration about the potential for a surge at the border once Title 42 goes away, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre listed off a series of personnel, processing and infrastructure efforts that have been put into place.
We are going to do the work, we are going to be prepared, and we are going to make sure we have a humane process moving forward, Jean-Pierre told reporters at the White House briefing.
Tillis, Sinema, the White House, and the 21st Immigration Deal: When Do We Stand? What Are We Waiting for?
The administration has been confronted with new difficulty because of the diplomatic component tied to managing a rapid shift in the countries of origin of the migrants who are caught at the border.
The administration officials stress that the only viable long-term solution is congressional action and the bipartisan framework released in the Senate last week.
According to sources familiar with the discussions, however, the long-shot bipartisan immigration deal led by Sens. Thom Tillis, a North Carolina Republican, and Kyrsten Sinema, who recently announced that she is leaving the Democratic party and registering as an independent, is essentially dead this Congress.
The framework, which would have extended protections for Dreamers and extended Title 42, was unlikely to build momentum in the brief lame-duck session.
The White House has had daily conversations with DHS about planning, sources told CNN. Sources said that the National Security Council has been involved in the management of migration across the Western hemisphere.
The request is intended to shore up resources for border management and technology and is part of broader funding discussions. It isn’t specific to the end of Title 42 according to the source.
At the border, migrants have been waiting in encampments in Mexico for months, anticipating the end of the authority so they can make their claim of asylum in the US. Immigrant advocates have tried to disseminate updates and information to migrants, but desperation has grown, especially as temperatures drop.
The current asylum system is under immense strain and there needs to be Congress action to update outdated statutes and create a functioning system.
“The 21st (is) going to be a disaster. There are so many things in the pipeline, but nothing is ready (to) go,” one official said, referring to December 21 when Title 42 is set to end.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas: The problem of the border crossing crisis and the emergence of new physics in El Paso
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas underscored the whole of government approach in a statement, noting that mass movement of people around the globe has posed a uniquely difficult challenge.
“We can’t continue to go on in this manner with a broken immigration system that has to be fixed,” the mayor said. “It’s bigger than the United States. I have to work with the UN and countries around us to be able to fix it.”
He added that the partnership between congress, state and local officials, NGOs, and communities was needed to address this challenge.
He said he doesn’t know why they keep avoiding the border and saying there are other things more important than crossing it. Show up if there is a crisis. Just show up.”
A source said that last month the department was estimating between 9000 to 14 thousand migrants could attempt to cross the US border every day after Title 42 ended.
El Paso city officials said Tuesday they’re monitoring the situation and are in ongoing discussions with federal, state, and local partners. Mayorkas also visited El Paso on Tuesday where he met with the Customs and Border Protection workforce and local officials.
How the Biden Administration is preparing for the End of Title 42: A State-Dependent Response to State-Court Challenges
The Biden administration is also asking Congress for more than $3 billion as it prepares for the end of Title 42, according to a source familiar with the ask.
The White House’s statement said that if Republicans were serious about border security, they would make sure that the Department of Homeland Security has the resources they need to build a safe, orderly and humane immigration system.
The governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, is bussing migrants but only to “sanctuary cities” like Chicago and New York. Those cities are bracing for a huge increase in arrivals.
The December 21 deadline for lifting the public health restrictions is still on, and federal officials and border communities are bracing for an expected increase in migrant arrivals.
A look at some of the key questions and answers about the appeals court ruling, Title 42, what is going on on the ground and what could happen next.
The controversial order was set to end December 21 but remains in legal limbo after the Supreme Court issued an order Wednesday allowing the policy to remain in effect while legal challenges play out – a process that could stretch out for at least several months.
The governors of 19 GOP states tried to get a federal appeals court involved in their attempt to stop the order from going into effect.
But the DC Circuit US Court of Appeals on Friday denied the states’ request to intervene in the case and dismissed as moot their request to put the lower court’s ruling on hold.
The administration objects to the states getting involved in the dispute and says it is prepared to let the program end, but it is still appealing the district court opinion to retain the authority of the government to impose public health orders.
The Case for a Rethink: Implications of the Border Law for the Future of the United States and for the Security of Citizenship and Immigration
Before, D’Agostino said, increases in migrant populations crossing the border were gradual and over a series of months. This time, he said, it has been rapid and over a few days.
The border restrictions were controversial from the moment the Trump administration announced them. Immigrant rights advocates argued officials were using public health as a pretext to keep as many immigrants out of the country as possible. Public health experts also slammed the policy, saying it wasn’t justified by the circumstances.
The debate was resuscitated several weeks later as word spread of the increasing number of migrants crossing in El Paso.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich – who took the lead for the states – said Monday that “getting rid of Title 42 will recklessly and needlessly endanger more Americans and migrants by exacerbating the catastrophe that is occurring at our southern border,” adding: “Unlawful crossings are estimated to surge from 7,000 per day to as many as 18,000.”
Earlier this year, the policy drew attention when authorities at first were using it to turn away Ukrainians at the border, then largely started granting exceptions that allowed thousands of Ukrainians seeking refuge to cross.
Advocates argued a racist double standard was at play as many migrants from Central America and Haiti continued to be turned back under the policy. Federal officials denied that exemption is granted on a case-by-case basis.
In August, CNN’s analysis found that migrants from outside Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were far less likely to be subjected to Title 42.
Human Rights First has identified more than 20,000 cases of kidnapping, torture, rape or other violent attacks on people barred or expelled to Mexico under Title 42 since Biden took office.
President Joe Biden told reporters his administration will enforce the immigration restriction even if he believes it is time to get rid of it.
In April 2022, the administration announced plans to end the policy, stating that it was no longer necessary given “current public health conditions and an increased availability of tools to fight Covid-19.”
Republican attorneys general argued that removing the restrictions would lead to a surge of illegal immigration at the southern border. The restrictions were put in place by the Trump administration in March of 2020.
In April of this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the Title 42 restrictions were no longer necessary to protect public health and moved to terminate the policy.
A group of Republican attorneys general brought the case in which the federal judge blocked that effort. They argued that the CDC did not go through the proper procedures to end Title 42, and should have considered the impact on state health care systems and other costs.
The Border Patrol and the State of the Border, and the Implications for the Children of Migrants in a Child Protected From Title 42 Expulsions
Since then, immigration authorities have continued to enforce the policy for single adults and some families, which has resulted in over two million expulsions.
But it also asked for the court to delay the ending of Title 42 until at least December 27, citing ongoing preparations for an influx of migrants and the upcoming holiday weekend.
According to The administration, the states do not have a legal right to challenge the district court’s opinion that the program was no longer valid.
The parties involved in the lawsuit were asked to weigh in by the Chief Justice on Monday.
The last-minute legal wrangling comes as federal officials and border communities have been bracing for an expected increase in migrant arrivals as early as this week as the issue of immigration continues to ignite both sides of the political divide. The Department of Homeland Security is working on a plan that will include additional resources to the border, as well as collaborating with international partners.
In court papers Tuesday, Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar stressed that it would be highly unusual for the court to allow the states to step in at the last minute when they had not been an official party in the dispute at hand.
The government does not want to minimize the seriousness of the problem. The immigration problem can’t be solved indefinitely by extending a public-health measure that has outlived its purpose, Prelogar wrote in a filing.
“The record in this case documents the truly extraordinary horrors being visited on noncitizens every day by Title 42 expulsions,” Lee Gelernt, a lawyer for the families, wrote.
The States argue that Title 42 is a better immigration control system than the immigration laws Congress has enacted, according to Gelernt. It is a choice for Congress.
A senior Customs and Border Protection official tells CNN that policy discussions are still underway, but that the situation is “as if nothing has changed.”
Just across the border from El Paso in Ciudad Juarez, CNN’s David Culver has spoken with migrants who spent weeks traveling hundreds of miles, often on foot, and are now confused as they hope for asylum in the US.
“I think there’s some that probably haven’t gotten the message and won’t until they cross,” the official said. Some already committed will cross.
He told the justices in court papers to put the lower court ruling on hold. He proposed that the justices grant an immediate temporary injunction to keep the status quo and that they might decide to skip over the appeals court and look at the merits of the issue themselves.
Failure to grant a stay here will have huge consequences for the States as they bear many of the consequences of illegal immigration.
Six families that crossed the US-Mexico border without authorization brought a challenge against the Title 42 process.
In court papers, the ACLU previously argued that Covid-19 was always a thinly veiled pretense to increase immigration control. The immigration laws have no basis in public health reasons, and any legal basis for using a purported public health measure to displace them is long gone.
He wrote in his dissent that the border crisis isn’t a carbon crisis. Courts should not be in the business of giving administrative instructions only if elected officials have failed to address a different emergency. We are a court of law, not policymakers of last resort.”
The 5-4 order is a victory for Republican-led states that urged the Supreme Court to step in and block a lower court opinion that ordered the termination of the authority. The Biden administration had put precautions in place to guard against any surge of migrants after the authority was ended.
In its order, the court also agreed to take up the states’ appeal this term. The arguments on the case will be heard during the argument session in February of next year.
Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan said they’d deny the application, but they did not explain their thinking. Conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch also dissented and explained his thinking in an order joined by liberal Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.
The Case for the Return of Asylum Seekers to the United States, Against the Biden-Biden Immigration Reform Laws and the End of the Covid-Era
“We will continue to manage the border, but we do so within the constraints of a decades-old immigration system that everyone agrees is broken. We need Congress to pass the comprehensive immigration reform legislation President Biden proposed the day he took office,” the department said in a statement.
“The court is not going to decide until June apparently, and in the meantime we have to enforce it – but I think it’s overdue,” Biden told reporters on the White House South Lawn.
The Covid-era rules are no longer in place, even though the Solicitor General acknowledged to the Supreme Court that returning to traditional protocols along the border will pose a challenge.
Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union, who are representing families subject to Title 42, had in arguments underscored the dangers faced by asylum seekers subject to the authority and sent back to Mexico.
In a statement to CNN, Lee Gelernt, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, said they are deeply disappointed by the ruling but will continue to fight to end the policy.
Gelernt promised that they will fight to end the policy even though they are disappointed for the asylum seekers who will continue to suffer.
Rodriguez huddled with her two children on a chilly El Paso sidewalk on Tuesday, wearing a jacket provided by a local church. She and her children attempted to cross into the US once already, but were sent back to Mexico, where they were robbed and picked up by immigration officials as they slept on the ground of a city plaza, she said.
The Title 42 policy allows US authorities to quickly return most migrants back to the US despite the uncertain future of the policy.
“They won’t give us the opportunity to be able to cross legally,” said Rodríguez. “That’s what we wanted – to be able to cross legally – but you can’t.”
The executive director of the Hope Border Institute warned that the Supreme Court ruling will lead to more deaths at the border, and that it would create unsustainable pressure on border enforcement.
The El Paso pastor said that he expects to see more people trying to cross the border. You should race yourself. It’s coming,” he said. There is a wave of people looking for a better life.
Immigration Policy in El Paso: Progress and Challenges of the Biden-Biden Administration’s Open-Border Enfranchism Policy
Two vacant schools in the city are being prepared to house migrants, D’Agostino said. One will be ready to use within two days, while the second will be modified for a few weeks, he said.
Shelters have also been set up at hotels and some church parishes have volunteered to house migrants, he said. Over 500 people were accommodated at the El Paso Convention Center on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and around 1,000 beds have been set up in the center.
But the city is unable to accept migrants who don’t have documentation from Customs and Border Protection, according to Cruz-Acosta, who cited state and federal policies, which she said require migrants to have documentation at government-run facilities.
Customs and Border Protection will connect migrants to shelters run by NGOs if they show up at government-run shelters.
Two local NGOs that accept undocumented immigrants tell CNN last week that they closed their doors to many people seeking refuge because their facilities are too crowded, even as the temperatures fell over the weekend.
President Biden is visiting the U.S.-Mexico border for the first time as president on Sunday, stopping in El Paso, Texas, on his way to Mexico. The visit is the culmination of two years of back and forth with Republicans over the Biden administration’s immigration policy.
The increasing number of Cubans, Venezuelans, and Nicaraguans has put a strain on federal resources. There are strained diplomatic relations between the US and some countries that prevent the US from deporting migrants back to their home countries.
Biden said that people come to America for a lot of different reasons. “To seek new opportunity in what is the strongest economy in the world. Can’t blame them, they want to do it. They flee oppression, you know, to the — to the freest nation in the world. They chase their own American Dream in the greatest nation in the world.”
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has sent many of the buses, hand-delivered a letter to Biden during his visit. The governor has been one of the most vocal critics of the Biden administration’s immigration policy.
“Your open-border policies have emboldened the cartels, who grow wealthy by trafficking deadly fentanyl and even human beings,” Abbott wrote in the letter. Local leaders from your own party will tell you if you get the chance, as Texans are paying an especially high price for your failure.
The most restrictive policies put in place by the Biden administration to try and manage the US- Mexico border is the new 153-page proposed regulation that could affect tens of thousands of people.
The rule would presume asylum ineligibility and encourage migrants to take safe pathways into the United States even if they are ineligible for asylum, so that they can get protection in their home countries.
While there are some exceptions, the rule would generally apply to migrants who unlawfully cross the US-Mexico border. It does not apply to children from other countries.
The Asymptotic Freedom Project in the State of the Art: An Apparent No-Standard Ban on Asymmetries
“To be clear, this was not our first preference or even our second,” an administration official told reporters, adding that the onus is on Congress to pass reform.
Administration officials on Tuesday rejected the comparison to the Trump administration, saying that it’s not a categorical ban on asylum and emphasizing efforts to expand access to legal pathways to the US, including a recently launched parole program for certain nationalities.
The rule is expected to take effect in May when Title 42’s border restriction ends, but it will be posted in the Federal Register for a 30-day public comment period. The rule will last for two years.
When the rule was first announced, members of the Hispanic Caucus said they were surprised by the new policies on the border and didn’t know anything about them. On Tuesday, House Judiciary Committee ranking member Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, and Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement Subcommittee ranking member Pramila Jayapal, a Washington Democrat, slammed the move.
The source said Mayorkas walked Latino senators through the regulation, but it did not appear to appease their concerns. The asylum rule violates the pledge of the President to restore asylum, according to immigrant advocates.