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DHS enacts measures to manage migration influx as Title 42 ends

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On January 5, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced new measures it will take to facilitate orderly immigration processes as Title 42 of the Public Health Services Act is being rolled back. Title 42 allowed for the denial of entry or speedy deportation of immigrants in the name of public health during the COVID pandemic. It was enacted by the Trump administration in March 2020.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officially lifted the Title 42 public health order on April 1, 2022. Since then, the Biden Administration and DHS have been taking steps to manage the influx of migrants at the border.

DHS is taking the enacting the following measures:

    1. For Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans: There is a new path to citizenship including the option to get a work permit. This is similar to the parole process already in place for Ukrainians and Venezuelans. This measure also comes with “significant consequences” for those who do not follow this new legal procedure.
    2. Launching a new phone application, “CBP One”: This app on your smartphone will be a way for noncitizens to schedule appointments to present themselves at a point of entry to Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). This aims to facilitate smoother processing.
    3. Propose a new rule to encourage legal entry: This upcoming rule will incentivize migrants to follow the newly devised and pre-existing legal paths to citizenship. Those who don’t follow the legal paths could lose their chance to seek asylum.
    4. Increasing expedited removal under Title 8: To facilitate processing at the border, people will be continue to be speedily removed if they qualify under Title 8 of the Code of Laws of the United States. Otherwise they will go into asylum processing as per the asylum processing interim final rule from March 2022.

The Secretary of DHS, Alejandro Mayorkas, said, “Individuals without a legal basis to remain in the United States will be subject to prompt expulsion or removal. Individuals who are provided a safe, orderly, and lawful path to the United States are less likely to risk their lives traversing thousands of miles in the hands of ruthless smugglers, only to arrive at our southern border and face the legal consequences of unlawful entry.”

This is an evolving situation. BOILA will continue to post updates on the impact of these new measures and what the roll back of Title 42 means for our clients.

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