Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Title 42 Set to End, Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas is ‘Not Worried’

Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, said the administration is ready to end Title 42 amidst the arrest of hundreds of migrants at the southern U.S. border.

Mayorkas visited the Rio Grande Valley in Texas to reinforce the Biden administration’s plans to stop using Title 42, a pandemic-era restriction that expelled migrants immediately without an asylum hearing. The policy will expire on May 11, when the U.S. will return to using national immigration laws.

“We have seen too much death, too much tragedy, too much trauma, and the rule that we are finalizing and will implement by May 11 cuts those smugglers out,” Mayorkas told NBC News.

Mayorkas said federal officials had arrested more than 10,000 smugglers in an enforcement surge and are trying to correct misinformation about the border that smugglers are disseminating.

“The landscape at the border has changed over the past ten years. No longer are migrants able to just come to the border on their own. Smugglers control that land south of our border, and we are cutting them out,” he said.

Mayorkas said he does not support the bill being prepared by Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Thom Tillis, which would extend Title 42 for two more years.

Title 42 is “not an immigration set of rules,” he said, adding that he is not worried about it no longer being used on the border. The policy has been used to block migrants from crossing the border 2.5 million times since it went into effect at the start of the pandemic, officials said.

However, as legal avenues shut down, illegal border crossings went up. Since Title 42 does not penalize repeated attempts to cross illegally, recidivism rates have also increased.

In contrast, under Title 8, migrants can face up to two years in prison if they re-enter the country illegally after being removed or deported. The Biden administration has made some exceptions to the law, allowing 30,000 Venezuelans, Haitians, Cubans, and Nicaraguans to “parole” into the U.S. each month, giving them a temporary stay and chance to work.

“We are delivering lawful pathways for these individuals to come to the United States as our laws provide in a safe and orderly way,” Mayorkas said.

To deal with the influx of migrants, the administration began requiring migrants to use an app to schedule appointments. The app, CBP One, has led to frustration as some migrants do not have phones or internet access, and spots fill up fast.

The administration has also distributed money to communities to help them deal with increased migrants. He said that the numerous people expected to try to cross the border and enter the U.S. is sure to be a challenge that needs the help of communities and nongovernment groups.

NBC News