The United States will likely release migrants into its territory during the processing of their cases once the Trump administration-era asylum restrictions end next week, the Department of Homeland Security said Thursday. According to a Texas lawmaker, border agents estimate that as many as 50,000 immigrants could be waiting to cross into the United States.
In one of its most detailed assessments prior to the policy change, the Department of Homeland Security announced faster processing for migrants detained at the border, more temporary detention spaces, an increase in staff and an increase in criminal prosecutions. against human traffickers, highlighting the progress of a plan announced in April.
But the seven-page document dated Tuesday did not include major structural changes amid an unusually large number of immigrants entering the country. More are expected with the completion of Title 42, a rule under which migrants have been denied the right to request asylum more than 2.5 million times on the grounds of preventing the spread of COVID-19.
A federal judge in Washington ordered Title 42 to be struck down as of December 21, but Republican-ruled states have asked an appeals court to keep it in effect. President Joe Biden’s administration has also questioned aspects of the ruling, though it is not opposed to letting the rule expire next week. The legal tug of war could continue until the last moment.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas traveled this week to El Paso, Texas, which saw a large influx of migrants on Sunday after becoming the busiest corridor for illegal crossings in October. El Paso has been a magnet for immigrants from Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Colombia, Ecuador and other nationalities.
In the fiscal year that ended on September 30, immigrants were detained 2.38 million times, 37% more than the 1.73 million the previous year. The annual total surpassed two million for the first time.
Spagat reported from San Diego.
Source: El Nuevo Herald