DENVER — The Consulate General of the United States in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, announced on Monday that due to the anticipated end of Title 42 on Thursday, delays and interruptions could be experienced at the checkpoints between the United States and Mexico.
Title 42 is the public health order that applies to migrants without proper travel documents. It was created during the Trump administration to address public health due to the pandemic.
The Consulate General of the United States in Ciudad Juárez said via their Facebook page that U.S. citizens should plan for longer-than-usual wait times, possible closures and other potential disruptions to travel at land ports of entry as the restriction ends at 11:59 p.m. May 11.
What is Title 42?
The pandemic-era Title 42 claimed that migrants in federal custody would create a public health risk. The policy also meant that those crossing the border would immediately be expelled and removed from the United States without granting an opportunity to apply for asylum.
As Title 42 expires, the U.S. Consulate suggested the following actions to those who are crossing the border:
- Monitor local media for the latest updates on traffic delays, and in case of emergency call 911.
- Avoid crowds and demonstrations.
- Make sure your vehicle is in good working condition and has adequate fuel for long traffic delays.
- Travel with water, snacks and essential medications in case of long traffic delays or an inability of medical personnel to immediately reach you in an emergency.
- Review your personal security plans and follow the instructions of local authorities.
The City of Denver has seen an increase in immigrants since December and said on Friday they expect to see another increase of migrants into the city next week as Title 42 is set to expire.
The city said Friday that shelters were already nearing capacity.
As of Monday, the City said Denver will provide emergency shelter only to "newly arriving migrants who have been encountered by U.S. immigration officials," a release says. It largely means they will only serve those who have gone through a port of entry. The rule went into effect Monday.
The city will continue to provide support services and resources to all migrants, according to the statement.
The number of migrants whom Denver is supporting and sheltering has already started to go up again, according to the city's dashboard. On May 1, the city was helping 390 migrants. Almost a week later, the number has jumped to more than 800 people.
Last week, President Joe Biden announced new measures that will both make it easier and harder for immigrants to arrive.
Biden announced that he'll create processing centers in Central and South America, where migrants can apply for asylum while remaining in their country of origin. It means many people will be able to start the process before taking the difficult journey, oftentimes only to be turned away or make the choice to cross without going through a port of entry.
As part of the new measures, Biden has also said he'll enact a transit ban, meaning that migrants who travel through three countries to get to the U.S. must apply for asylum in one of those countries before applying for asylum in the United States.
Former President Donald Trump tried to enact something similar but was met with pushback, so it never went into effect.
"It’s a legal pathway," said Arturo Jiménez, an immigration attorney and professor of Chicano studies at Metropolitan State University of Denver. "Both President Trump and President Biden are preventing them or availing themselves from a legal pathway and it’s in violation of U.S. law."
Biden also said that migrants who have arrived without going through a port of entry will be ineligible to apply or receive asylum.
Previous reporting from Angeline McCall is included in this story.
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