USA: Chaos due to deportation regulations – tens of thousands of migrants at the border

USA: Chaos due to deportation regulations – tens of thousands of migrants at the border

Terrifying images

In Ciudad Juarez an der Grenze zwischen den USA und Mexiko warten Migranten auf US-Behörden zwischen einer Stacheldrahtbarriere und dem Grenzzaun.

In Ciudad Juarez, on the US-Mexico border, migrants wait for US officials between a barbed wire barrier and the border fence.

© What: Christian Chavez/AP/dpa

Since March 2020, millions of illegal immigrants apprehended at the US border have been returned to Mexico. But they could try again afterwards without having to fear consequences. This regulation ends on Friday and many still want to use the last time window.

A new regulation for migrants is causing chaos at the US-Mexico border. From Friday night (local time) all those who have not registered online or in a transit country before crossing the border will be turned away immediately. And: Anyone who tries to do so illegally is not allowed to enter the USA for five years and must also expect to be reported. Because there were no such consequences under the previous – highly controversial – deportation regulation, tens of thousands were still trying to get across the border somehow.

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In recent years, the USA had pursued a restrictive immigration policy that, with reference to the corona pandemic, dramatically restricted the right to asylum: known as “Title 142” after the underlying legal paragraph. Introduced under ex‑President Donald Trump in March 2020 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, his democratic successor Joe Biden initially stuck to it. As a result, migrants, including asylum seekers, could be immediately deported to Mexico. This has been done 2.8 million times since March 2020. But there were no legal consequences for those who repeatedly tried to cross the border illegally. And that ends now with the expiration of “Title 42”.

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The declared goal of the Biden government is to make illegal immigration less attractive and at the same time to create more legal opportunities to settle in the USA. “Our plan will produce results, but it will take time for those results to be fully implemented,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas admitted on Wednesday.

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Border authorities picked up 10,000 migrants on Tuesday

Many migrants, fearing that staying in the US would become more difficult in the future, have poured into and across the border in recent weeks and days. At the Rio Grande border near Matamoros, reporters from the AP news agency observed people arriving, undressing and wading through the water all day Wednesday. A father carried a small baby in an open suitcase on his head.

On Tuesday, around 10,000 people were apprehended by the US border protection authorities after illegally crossing the border. Rarely have there been so many in one day, the AP learned from informed circles. More than 27,000 people were in US Border Patrol custody at one time.

Around 55,000 migrants were still in 26 shelters in Mexico on Wednesday, estimated Miguel Meza, head of the immigration program at Catholic Relief Services. At the same time, however, centers in border towns such as Ciudad Juárez emptied because many were rushing to the USA. Enrique Valenzuela, the commissioner for migration assistance in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, said there were only half as many migrants in the shelters there as a few weeks ago.

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Asylum seekers are partially monitored

According to the new regulation, from Thursday 11:59 p.m. US Eastern Time (Friday 5:59 a.m. CEST) up to 30,000 people from Haiti, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela can come to the USA as asylum seekers per month if they have previously submitted an online application and can prove a sponsor can and arrive at an airport. In addition, up to 1,000 people can come across the land border from Mexico per day if they have previously made an appointment via an app – but these are in great demand and waiting times are long.

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After crossing the border, exit restrictions apply to the asylum seekers and some of them are monitored. Because in the past, many people went into hiding in the USA before there was a hearing in their asylum procedure.




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