US braces for crowded borders amid health system lift


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WASHINGTON – The Biden administration released a plan Tuesday to deal with what’s expected An increase in the already high number of immigrants On the US-Mexico border because of a planned public health lift that has prevented people from seeking asylum – and Republicans and some Democratic lawmakers insist it should be maintained.

A memo from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mallorcas outlines a more aggressive effort to enforce US immigration law without the use of Address 42 Which was called at the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

Mayorkas warns in a memo that comes the day before he is to testify before Congress on an issue that has become a potent component of Republican political messaging.

The plan includes increasing the number of personnel in the border area from Customs and Border Protection and other federal agencies, expanding holding capacity with temporary facilities and deploying a process known as fast-track removal to deport immigrants who do not qualify for asylum or some other relief under US law.

It also draws on new Department of Homeland Security initiatives aimed at simplifying the evaluation of immigrant applications, such as posting asylum officers at the border to help determine whether someone should be granted temporary legal residence until an immigration court rules their case.

What was not mentioned is the fact that the court may soon order the government to reverse course and halt plans to raise Title 42 on May 23 due to lawsuits brought by Republican-led states.

A federal judge in Louisiana said on Monday he would issue an order limiting the administration’s ability to prepare but left the details of the settlement to the federal government and states.

Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Robert Summerhayes has scheduled a May 13 hearing in the lawsuit filed by Louisiana and 20 other states seeking to keep Title 42 authority in place. Republicans and some Democrats in Congress have also urged the Biden administration to continue with it for now.

Immigrants were expelled more than 1.8 million times under the rule issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under former President Donald Trump.

Asylum seekers advocates support an end to the rule, which they say puts people fleeing persecution at risk in their country and violates the rights to seek protection under US law and international treaty. Countries challenging the administration say the United States is not prepared for a potential influx of immigrants as a result of the rule ending, straining public services.

It comes amid what the administration acknowledges are historic numbers of migrants trying to cross the border due to factors including economic and political turmoil in Latin America, as well as a backlog of people hoping to seek asylum.

The increase in immigrant encounters is also partly due to Address 42 itself.

Immigration authorities stopped immigrants 221,303 times along the southwest border in March, up 33% from the previous month, according to US Customs and Border Protection data.

But many of those encounters were of people who had returned after being banished under public health authority. CBP said the number of unique individuals encountered nationwide in March came to 159,900, still high but well below the total.

Biden administration officials argue that using expedited removal is more of a deterrent because people subject to it are not allowed for five years and can be charged with a felony if they attempt to return to the country. Under Title 42, there are no legal consequences and many people turn around and come back.