Homeland Security Minister Alejandro Mayorcas acknowledged that the “coming days and weeks” could be “very difficult”, noting that authorities had already detected a “large number” of migrants arriving at the border.
President Joe Biden acknowledged a day ago that things could get “chaotic” when the stock dubbed “Title 42” ceases to operate Thursday at 11:59 p.m. Washington time (03:59 GMT Friday).
This measure prevents the filing of an asylum request in the United States and allows migrants to be immediately deported to Mexico under the pretext of fighting against Covid-19.
Border towns like Brownsville, Laredo and El Paso have seen large numbers of immigrants, mostly from Latin America but also from China, Russia and Turkey.
Across the border, in Ciudad Juárez and Matamoros, hundreds of people were rushing to try to enter the United States to seek asylum, fearing that a change in the rules in force could prevent them from doing so during five years.
In order to help local authorities, the US government announced on Wednesday the deployment of “more than 24,000 law enforcement personnel, as well as more than 1,100 coordinators” from the Border Patrol.
In addition to them, 1,500 soldiers have been deployed by the Ministry of Defense at the borders to support the 2,500 who are there.
New restrictions on asylum
The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security have finalized the new asylum restrictions announced in February and will be consulted before they take effect Thursday evening. Before reaching the border, people wishing to apply for asylum, with the exception of unaccompanied minors, will have to obtain an appointment fixed via a mobile application developed by the border guards. Otherwise, their application will be considered invalid and they may be subject to expedited removal procedures that will prevent them from entering the United States for five years.
These new measures have met with strong criticism from associations concerned with the defense of immigrants, as the civil rights organization ACLU declared, “President Biden has just opened a new phase of massive suffering for people who are already experiencing violence and persecution”.
“In doing so, he is ending the work of former Republican President Donald Trump instead of delivering on his campaign promises,” she added.
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