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President Biden 'weighing whether to delay the repeal of Title 42 border restrictions' which May 23

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President Biden is considering delaying the ending of Title 42 border restrictions which were introduced during the pandemic and are currently set to expire on May 23.  

The Biden administration is coming under increasing pressure over the looming expiration of what was a public health order that enabled U.S. authorities to turn back most migrants, including people seeking asylum from persecution. 

But the number of migrants now attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border is at its highest level in two decades with even larger numbers set to arrive once the pandemic-era order is lifted.

Thousands of migrants are camped out in Mexico near the U.S. border waiting for Title 42 to end on May 23

Thousands of migrants are camped out in Mexico near the U.S. border waiting for Title 42 to end on May 23 

Immigration authorities stopped migrants 221,303 times along the Southwest border in March, a 33% increase from a month earlier, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data released Monday. 

The number of migrant encounters has gone up nearly every month since President Joe Biden took office, becoming fodder for political opponents who point to the increase as evidence that this administration is weaker on border security than its predecessor.      

The White House is now looking for ways to buy time to avoid such a massive influx of migrants, according to Axios. 

Some estimates from last month are predicting a ‘mass migration event’ of more than 170,000 migrants, once the rules are repealed. 

The number of illegal crossings, or those outside official ports of entry, totaled 209,906 in March, surpassing the previous high of Biden´s presidency of 200,658 set in July, and the highest level since March 2000, when it reached 220,063. 

While most migrants are arriving from Central America – a new influx is coming from Ukraine as asylum-seekers flee violence from Russia

While most migrants are arriving from Central America – a new influx is coming from Ukraine as asylum-seekers flee violence from Russia

Biden administration officials are said to have been attempting to convince  Democratic allies that by keeping Title 42 in place would actually allow for less immigration enforcement, but the White House is also facing criticism of the overall perceived unpreparedness of the looming crisis from vulnerable House and Senate Democrats.

A sudden rush of immigrants coming over the border would also likely be extremely damaging to those Democrats’ chances in November’s midterm elections.      

But it appears, no matter what path Biden chooses, he is sure to face criticism from both sides.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus are set to meet next Monday who will impress upon the president that their s to meet next Monday will serve as a reminder for Biden that a crucial part of his party’s base demographic will be hugely disappointed should Title 42 be extended. 

Department of Homeland Security officials are expecting up to 18,000 migrants per day once Title 42 is lifted

Department of Homeland Security officials are expecting up to 18,000 migrants per day once Title 42 is lifted 

Former President Donald Trump also faced a sharp increase in migrant border crossings but the number plummeted with the start of the pandemic. 

In March 2020, the previous administration invoked Title 42, a little-used public health authority to quickly expel nearly anyone encountered along the Southwest border. 

U.S. authorities have expelled migrants more than 1.7 million times under Title 42 authority, named for a 1944 public health law, using the threat of COVID-19 to deny migrants a chance to seek asylum as required under U.S. law and international treaty. 

Several moderate Democrats have joined Republican leaders to call for an extension of Title 42 authority. Sen. Mark Kelly, an Arizona Democrat up for election this year, toured the border last week and warned that the Biden administration is unprepared for asylum restrictions to be lifted.

Human rights groups and other migrant advocates say the U.S. has a legal obligation to permit people to seek asylum and have called for the lifting of the public health order. ‘The United States can and must welcome people seeking asylum because it is the law, because it is right, and because we can,’ the Catholic Legal Immigration Network said in a statement Monday to mark Holy Week.

Migrants of different nationalities walk peacefully through the main avenues, in the city of Tapachula in Chiapas, Mexico, 16 April

Migrants of different nationalities walk peacefully through the main avenues, in the city of Tapachula in Chiapas, Mexico, 16 April

The rapid expulsions under Title 42 are a significant component of the recent increases. Migrants are turned back without any legal consequences, and many simply try to cross again and are therefore counted more than once in the total.

CBP said the number of unique individuals encountered nationwide in March came to 159,900, a 37% increase from the prior month.

More than half of the total 221,303 stopped were quickly turned away, without being given a chance to apply for asylum, either to Mexico or their homelands, according to data supplied to a federal court in Texas as part of that state’s challenge of Biden administration immigration policies.

Migrants rest in a dormitory of the Good Samaritan shelter in Juarez, Mexico, in March. The number of migrants attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border has surged in recent weeks

Migrants rest in a dormitory of the Good Samaritan shelter in Juarez, Mexico, in March. The number of migrants attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border has surged in recent weeks

CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus said in a statement that the agency planned to send additional staff to the Southwest border to handle the ‘likely’ increase expected when Title 42 is lifted.

Most of the rest were processed under immigration authority, known as Title 8, and their ultimate fate varies. About 34,000 were allowed to remain in the U.S. under parole, which will allow them to pursue asylum or legal residency through other avenues. If they are unsuccessful, they could face deportation.

Mexicans made up the largest group by nationality of those encountered at the border, followed by Cubans. The number of Ukrainians, who are generally being allowed into the country on humanitarian parole, increased to over 200 in March from just 5 in November.

When Title 42 ends, migrants will no longer be turned away when seeking asylum on the grounds of a public health emergency. Pictured: Asylum-seeking migrants walk out of the Rio Bravo river on April 13 after crossing it to turn themselves in to U.S Border Patrol agents to request asylum in El Paso, Texas

When Title 42 ends, migrants will no longer be turned away when seeking asylum on the grounds of a public health emergency. Pictured: Asylum-seeking migrants walk out of the Rio Bravo river on April 13 after crossing it to turn themselves in to U.S Border Patrol agents to request asylum in El Paso, Texas

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