Written by Reem Abdel Hamid
Friday, May 12, 2023 06:00 AM
With the lifting of the health restrictions imposed during the Corona epidemic on immigrants, which allowed them to be expelled faster at the southern border, the US Secretary of Homeland Security warned immigrants against illegal crossing into the United States.
According to the New York Times, Mayorkas said the borders are not open, adding that those who enter the country illegally will now face tougher consequences, including expulsion from the country. Mayorkas directed his speech to the immigrants, saying: “Do not risk their lives and your savings only to be expelled from the United States, if they reach it.”
The latest warning by Mallorcas came as officials prepare for a new influx of tens of thousands of migrants once the policy imposed under former President Donald Trump since March 2020, scheduled for Thursday, is ended.
The effects are already beginning to become apparent. On Tuesday, officials arrested more than 11,000 migrants who crossed the border illegally, according to internal data, up from 7,000 to 8,000 in a day last week.
Known as Title 42, Trump’s restrictions have kept the border closed to asylum seekers and largely allowed officials to bypass parts of the lengthy administrative process of sending illegal immigrants back to Mexico. Once this rule is gone, officials will revert to decades-old hudud laws that prolong the process.
But the end of Title 42 exposed deep divisions, which for years impeded efforts by Congress to rework outdated immigration laws. Those laws are now in the spotlight as Republicans try to pass a tougher border law through the House of Representatives.
Mayorkas said the administration has sent more asylum officers, as well as thousands of Homeland Security and Defense Department personnel. On Wednesday, President Biden said he would consider sending additional troops to the border, in addition to the 1,500 troops announced last week.
On the other hand, the New York Times said that millions in Latin America are leaving their homelands in numbers not seen in decades, many of them heading towards the United States.
And while immigration to the southern border of the United States has always been volatile, the Corona epidemic and the recession that followed it has hit Latin America perhaps more than anywhere else in the world, plunging millions into a state of hunger and despair. Decades of progress in fighting extreme poverty has been reversed, and unemployment has reached levels not seen in two decades. The Russo-Ukraine war choked off a major supply line for grain and fertilizer and sent food prices soaring.
The economic shocks exacerbated the violence, with conflict erupting between armed groups in countries that were relatively peaceful, and raging in other places that had long been accustomed to terrorism.
In light of these events, smugglers and immigrants alike launched powerful social media attacks, many of them based on misinformation, that encouraged people to immigrate to the United States.
The newspaper indicates that this accumulation of grim factors means that when health restrictions on the borders imposed due to the Corona epidemic and known as Title 42 are lifted, the United States will face an immigration challenge that will be more difficult than it faced when the measure was imposed for the first time.