What is happening at the US-Mexico border now and why are there a record number of crossings?
US President Joe Biden is visiting the US-Mexico border. The first time since taking office in January 2021 on Sunday. Ahead of a trip to Mexico and announcing new measures to reduce border crossings.
What is happening at the US-Mexico border now and why are there record numbers of crossings?
Who is trying to enter the United States through the border?
The U.S. Border Patrol made more than 2.2 million arrests in the U.S.-Mexico region in the 2022 fiscal year. Which ended last September, the most ever recorded.
But many of them were individual migrants. Who tried to cross many times after being caught and quickly deported. To Mexico under a COVID-era order known as Title 42.
The policy was implemented in March 2020 under Republican. Former President Donald Trump, an immigration hardliner. Biden, a Democrat, tried to end the Title 42 mandate. which health officials said was no longer needed. But the termination was blocked in court.
Before last year, Mexico usually accepted the expulsion of its own citizens. Along with migrants from the Central American countries of Guatemala. Honduras and El Salvador. The number of Venezuelans crossing the border has dropped since. Mexico agreed to accept the expulsion of Venezuelan migrants last October.
Biden announced Thursday that Cubans. Haitians and Nicaraguans — who are arriving in greater numbers. Will also now be deported under Title 42.
Why are people crossing?
Before Title 42, immigrants were allowed to approach a U.S. port of entry. And tell border officials that they feared returning to their country. Which sped up the asylum process.
Immigrants seeking protection must prove to a U.S. asylum. Officer or U.S. immigration court that they have been. Religion, nationality, political opinion. Or membership in a particular social group.
Immigrants who have arrived on U.S. soil are eligible to seek asylum, even if they cross the border illegally. And turn themselves in to border agents. But winning a case is a long and complicated process that can take years due to backlogs.
The Biden administration has said it wants to increase resources to process. More claims faster but faces budget and other constraints.
The administration also said in its announcement Thursday. That it will expand use of an app called CBP. One that allows asylum seekers to enter their information as a pre-screening. Step to make an appointment at a US port.
What happens to people after passing?
Asylum seekers are eligible to apply for a work permit as long. As they attend court hearings and other immigration check-ins. Some need compliance with electronic monitoring, such as ankle bracelets. If they miss their hearing or lose their case, they are at risk of deportation.
The Republican governors of Texas and Arizona last year moved. Thousands of immigrants from the border to live in northern cities. Like New York and Washington, D.C. Which they say eases pressure on border communities. And sends a political message to Biden and Democrats. The city of El Paso also ran its own busing campaign, but has since closed.
Why can’t more people enter the US legally?
As part of Biden’s announcement on Thursday, the administration said. It would admit 30,000 migrants a month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua. And Venezuela by air under a new temporary “humanitarian parole” program if they have a US sponsor.
Or performing a specific job or study. But obtaining a visa can be a long, expensive process. That is not always accessible to the most vulnerable.
The Biden administration also set a goal of resettling 125,000 refugees in 2022. Who applied from abroad after Trump dramatically reduced admissions during his tenure. But delays from the Covid-19 pandemic have contributed to the US falling back on that goal.
When Biden takes office in 2021, he has said. He wants Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Such an effort to fix what many believe is a broken immigration system has been a longtime. Goal of many administrations, but lawmakers have failed to reach. Any sort of consensus in recent years.