Border Cities Begin Declaring States of Emergency in Anticipation of Title 42 Ending

El Paso in Texas declared a state-of-emergency on May 1, because an important pandemic-era initiative was scheduled to expire.

Title 42, a public health policy set up during the pandemic that allowed U.S. officials deport asylum seekers, will expire on the 11th of May.

In a Sunday afternoon press conference, Democratic Mayor Oscar Leeser said that the city was preparing for the “unknown,” which is what happens after May 11.

Leeser stated that “we’re starting up a momentum, as asylum seekers are on the streets in downtown El Paso and elsewhere in our community. We need to continue to protect both the asylum-seekers and our community.”

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The policy was implemented by Donald Trump, then president, and continued by Joe Biden as vice-president. It was designed to limit the number of immigrants held in areas where COVID-19 was likely to spread.

After the policy is over, border officials are required to follow Title 8 immigration laws, which include deportation, a five-year ban on reentry, and do not have the same expulsions as Title 42.

The border towns are already experiencing an influx in immigrants, and they lack the staff and resources necessary to deal with this crisis.

Doug Nicholls, the mayor of Yuma in Arizona, testified last week before the subcommittee for government operations and border control, saying that “the federal government must own the entire situation and not pass it to local governments or NGOs.”

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported 191,899 encounters in March with immigrants on the southwest border. This is a significant increase over the 35,000 encounters that were reported in February.

The Biden administration announced on April 27 plans to establish immigration processing centers in Latin America to reduce the number of immigrants arriving to the U.S. On Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed his approach to immigration issues at the White House.

Blinken stated that “these centers will be a very important step in preventing people from making dangerous border crossings by offering a safer and legal migration option they can pursue within their own country or from there.” It’s an innovative and new approach that helps people who wish to migrate, and enhances the security and stability of the region.

In the weeks before the end of Title 42, immigrants have set up camps on the street and outside homeless shelters. According to the El Paso Times, hundreds of immigrants have set up camp around Sacred Heart Catholic Church downtown and the Opportunity Center for the Homeless located in the Magoffin District.

Leeser stated in a press conference that “we’re not opening borders.” “The border is not open today and it will not be on May 12.