‘We’re Going to America’: Boundary Hopes and Fears as Title 42 Ends

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By Webdesk

Three years ago, when the coronavirus pandemic brought the world to a standstill and changed the way people live, it also fundamentally disrupted an act as old as humanity itself: migration.

In the United States, the administration of then-President Donald Trump has introduced an emergency ordinance to stop the spread of COVID-19, targeting people entering through the country’s southern border. The Title 42 rule allowed US authorities to turn away most migrants and refugees arriving at the border, without giving them the chance to apply for protection. According to government figures, the US has recorded 2.7 million Title 42 evictions since its implementation. This also applies to people who may have been rejected several times. The policy expired on Thursday 11 May 2023.

On May 12, a group of 200 migrants entered the US at the Tijuana-San Diego border crossing. They will now have to go through a lengthy process that could take years to decide whether someone will be given asylum status to stay in the country.

The Department of Homeland Security has said that under a new rule, Title 8, people will be barred from applying for asylum in the US if they do not apply in countries they have crossed earlier on their journey. The Mexican government also announced that they will continue to accept returns under Title 8 at the US border. Individuals removed under Title 8 are subject to a five-year re-entry ban and may face criminal charges if they attempt to re-enter during that period.

Yet that uncertainty is a risk many are willing to take, all in the hope of a new life eventually.

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