Title 42 is gone. Here’s what’s happening at the Arizona border a day after rule is lifted. Darius Amiri, Rose Law Group Immigration Department Chair comments

José Ignacio Castañeda Perez

Arizona Republic

Title 42 officially ended Thursday after more than three years, more than 2 million migrant expulsions and numerous attempts to lift the policy. 

The border restriction expired at 8:59 p.m. Arizona time.

Friday will be the first full day since March 2020 that Title 42 is not enforced at the nation’s borders. 

Juan Francisco Loureiro Esquer, director of the San Juan Bosco migrant shelter in Nogales, Sonora, said the shelter is preparing for an influx of migrants in the next few days. Shelters in southern Mexico have become empty as migrants begin to make their way north toward the border, he said. 

Loureiro Esquer is preparing for a larger influx of migrants when people begin to be deported back to Mexico under Title 8. 

About 25 migrants arrived at the shelter at 6 p.m. Thursday. Nearly all of them were Venezuelan migrants who had attempted to cross the border near Matamoros, Mexico, across from Brownsville, Texas. 

Migrants seeking asylum in the United States wait as they are processed by U.S. Border Patrol agents in the early morning hours after crossing into Arizona from Mexico on May 10, 2023 in Yuma, Ariz.

Roughly 60,000 migrants were waiting near the U.S.-Mexico border in the last hours of Title 42, according to CBS News. 

Feelings of uncertainty and fear are prevalent among migrants at the shelter, Loureiro Esquer said. Migrants are unsure of what awaits them at the border after Title 42 lifts. 

“They’re scared,” Loureiro Esquer said. 

With Title 42 gone, we can anticipate thousands of migrants and would be asylum seekers at our southern borders, who can no longer be expelled with ease under the premise of pandemic related health and safety concerns.

Now, migrants are processed under Title 8, which allows for broader access to our nations immigration and specifically asylum laws. We can expect more immigration related detentions and thus the need for more judges, prosecutors, asylum officer and border agents as migrants continue to seek access to the United States.

The Biden administration is attempting to pass measures to address the expected surge, but it’s too early to tell if these will have any deterring effect. What’s obvious is that the United States remains a desired destination for millions facing war, hunger, economic insecurity and persecution across the globe, and our Congress needs to step up and pass legislation to address our outdated immigration laws and deal with this crises in an effective and humane manner.” 

Darius Amiri, Rose Law Group Immigration Department Chair

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May 2023