What will happen to asylum after Title 42 is over? Nobody knows the answer yet

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — Show up at a border crossing with Mexico and ask a U.S. official for asylum? Register online You can visit a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Biden’s administration has been conspicuously silent on how immigrants should enter the United States. when Trump-era asylum limits endThis fueled confusion, rumors and doubts about the government’s readiness, despite having had more than two years to prepare.

“I absolutely wish that we had more information to share with folks,” said Kate Clark, senior director for immigration services at Jewish Family Service of San Diego, which has facilitated travel within the United States for more than 110,000 migrants released from custody since October 2018.

Migrants were denied the right to asylum under U.S. and International law 2.5 million times starting March 2020. This was because COVID-19, a public health rule, was to end Wednesday. U.S Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts ruled that it should continue to be in effect until Wednesday. temporary hold. Title 42 was applied in adisproportionate manner to people from countries Mexico has agreed to return: Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, as well as Mexico. Asylum claims from these countries will increase once the rule is removed.

Many believe the government will make use of CBPOne, an online platform to register appointments that was introduced in 2020. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection mobile app has had limited use for people applying for travel permits and for those tracking U.S. immigration court hearings under the now-defunct “Remain in Mexico” policy.

It is expected that migrants who use the app will make appointments to seek asylum in America. However, they would need to stay outside the country until the time and date set.

CBPOne is a controversial program that some advocacy groups have criticized over privacy concerns. It may not be feasible for migrants who do not have internet access or are not fluent in English. The agency must also get the word out.

Nicolas Palazzo, an attorney at Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, El Paso, Texas said that he fears that scammers will try to get migrants to sign up for their services and that CBP’s limited processing capabilities will lead to inexorable waits.

“Unless they plan to ramp that up significantly, someone applying for admission on CBPOne is going to be given a date that is like a year out,” Palazzo said. “Realistically, can they tell me with a straight face that they expect people to wait that long?”

Mohamad Reza Tanan, 56, a convert to Christianity, fled Iran on Nov. 26, and flew to Tijuana in Mexico. There, U.S. border officials at a San Diego crossing refused to grant him asylum when he requested it.

The computer technician wanted to wait to see what would happen after Title 42 was lifted. If not, he stated that he would illegally cross the border by climbing the San Diego wall or walking across the flat desert in Yuma. He lives with his family in Los Angeles and views the United States as his only hope.

“I have nothing here,” Taran said in an interview outside a church in Tijuana, where he was searching for people who could instruct him on U.S. policies.

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, a Democrat, stated that CBP officials had told him last week that they hoped to channel asylum-seekers through official crossings, and return to Mexico any person who crosses the border illegally. Because asylum law states that illegal immigrants are eligible to protection, it is likely that this would be challenged in court.

No one disputes that the Border Patrol is woefully ill-equipped for processing — even while Title 42 kept a lid on numbers.

The Border Patrol paroled nearly 450,000 migrants in the United States through October — including 68,837 in October and 95,191 in September — sparing its agents the time-consuming work of issuing orders to appear in immigration court. A Government Accountability Office report states that it takes approximately two hours to prepare a court matter, while it takes less than half an hour to release parolees.

Border Patrol agents have given permission to migrants to freely move within the United States and they are instructed to report to U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement at their final destinations in approximately two months.

The GAO reportThe September release of this report details how ICE’s processing work has hampered employees. ICE has scheduled 15,100 appointments for families in March to begin processing until March 2024. According to one ICE office, 500 people showed up in person every day without appointment.

Families make a court appearance after which they deal with a court system that has more than 2 million backlog cases. This results in long waits for judges to reach a decision.

Waiting two years to just get on the court docket reflects a “totally collapsed” system, said Theresa Cardinal Brown, managing director of immigration and cross-border policy for the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Online registration using CBPOne would be “antithetical to the whole concept of asylum” because it could force people to wait in unsafe places, said Melissa Crow, litigation director for the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies at the University of California Hastings College of the Law.

Crow and others think CBP could process far more people They have never been more successful.

Earlier this year, the agency processed up to about 1,000 Ukrainians a day at San Diego’s San Ysidro border crossing, about three times its custody capacity.

Clark explained that since the pandemic, many migrants have been living in San Diego motels and then flew to their family or friends east of the Mississippi River. Jewish Family Service created a place for families to eat, watch TV, and play in the courtyard. This was done to prepare for Title 42’s end. Clark likens it to an “airport lounge.”

CBP has been releasing more migrants to Jewish Family Service through exemptions to the asylum limits — about 200 to 250 a day, Clark said. Others are being housed at the Catholic Charities Diocese San Diego.

“It’s a day we’ve been working toward for some time,” Clark said Monday, having heard nothing from CBP about how migrants will be processed after asylum limits end. She anticipates more releases but doesn’t know how many.

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