Why is there chaos on the US-Mexico border?

Immigrants trying to cross the US southwest border have been expelled nearly 2.8 million times using Title 42, a pandemic-inspired measure, since March 2020. no wonder the President Joe Biden Prepare for chaotic scenes when the policy expires on May 11. He has ordered the deployment of 1,500 troops to the border to support Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents. Several Texas border cities, including El Paso and Laredo, have already declared states of emergency, facing a growing number of migrants for processing. The result will be tough on migrants – and, assuming their numbers remain high, politically vulnerable For Mr. Biden.

Title 42 allowed CBP to expeditiously process and expel immigrants on public-health grounds, either in their home country or, in some cases, in Mexico, which had agreed to take back their nationalities, along with certain nationalities. Mr. Biden first tried to end Title 42 in April 2022, but court drags by Republican-led states that have pushed for border security have kept it alive so far. The rule it will replace is an extension of the stick-and-carrot approach the US has been testing since late last year: expanding legal avenues while cracking down on those who don’t use them.

The US will continue a policy of allowing a total of 30,000 asylum seekers per month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela if they apply through CBP One, an app, rather than crossing illegally (this is a small fraction of those hoping to enter). It will also include a total of 100,000 people from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras through a family-reunification process. Title 8, the general immigration law, would replace Title 42. This is a big stick. Anyone trying to enter the US illegally will be barred from applying for admission for five years. Under heading 42 migrants may attempt the crossing multiple times; They may face serious charges if they try to re-enter now.

The US plan depends on Mexico’s willingness to take back migrants from some countries with which US diplomatic relations are so poor that there are no deportation flights. It’s a “vulnerability,” says Theresa Cardinal Brown of the Bipartisan Policy Center, a think-tank in Washington, DC. Relations with Mexico haven’t been helped by aggressive comments from the Drug Enforcement Administration and some Republicans, who blame Mexico for America’s opioid crisis because Mexican gangs smuggle fentanyl across the border.

discord has crept in migration support, A Mexican official says the political cost of being seen doing America’s dirty work is mounting. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is thinking twice as the head of Mexico’s immigration agency, a close ally, was accused of negligence over a fire at a migrant detention center in northern Mexico in April that killed 40 people. On the ground, some Mexican agents want to find themselves in the same position, so many are simply shaking hands rather than detaining northbound migrants. Only on May 2, nine days before Title 42 expired, Mexico agreed to continue deporting under Title 8 the same nationalities it had agreed to under Title 42.

Migration-policy experts praise Mr. Biden’s package as the best in years. But it is likely to hit a large number. Record numbers of people are trying to flee. Border apprehensions have increased sixfold since 2018, to 2.4 million last year. The combination of legal channels and harsher penalties have so far failed to be as strong a deterrent as the administration had hoped. The number of Venezuelans caught trying to cross the border illegally dropped between October last year, when the legal route was opened, and February 2023, but has since risen again.

Even where migrant encounters have decreased, it is not because people have stayed at home; Rather, they are in limbo elsewhere in the region. Thousands of people are waiting in northern Mexico to try their luck once Title 42 arrives. The Biden administration estimates that 13,000 people will seek asylum every day.

Keeping this in mind, America is also trying deal with migration close to the source. It plans to open regional processing centers in Guatemala and Colombia to identify vulnerable people and provide them with alternatives. In April the administration announced a 60-day plan to combat people-trafficking through the Darien Gap, a dangerous stretch of jungle between Colombia and Panama that migrants must cross on their way north. (More than 87,000 people, including Chinese and Indians, arrived there in the first three months of this year, compared with less than 14,000 in the same period last year.) But plans remain unclear. And tackling root causes like the lack of jobs in Central America will take years, if they do.

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