With the end of Title 42, the Covid-era policy that allowed for the rapid removal of immigrants arriving in the United States, federal border agents were set to return to pre-pandemic rules on Friday to enforce immigration law was passed, known as Title 8.
The measure covers a wide range of immigration law, including asylum, refugees and visas. It also includes a mechanism to rapidly deport people, known as “accelerated removal”. Federal officials have said that with the end of Title 42, many incoming immigrants can expect to be processed and removed from the United States within a few days.
But the policy also allows for more people to request asylum, and the lengthy administrative process can lead to overcrowding in holding facilities when large numbers of arrivals arrive.
The Biden administration has taken steps to speed up processing, and has warned migrants not to come to the border to try to apply for asylum; Instead, it has provided other avenues for taking application appointments remotely, through government apps. The administration has also begun implementing new rules to make it more difficult to obtain asylum.
The return of normal laws to deal with cross-border migrants has benefits and drawbacks. Under Title 42, there was no penalty for those who crossed illegally and were deported, so many people made multiple attempts to enter the country. Under Title 8, repeated illegal border crossings carry increased criminal penalties.
The Trump administration and many Republicans had argued that Title 8 allowed too many people to remain in the United States after they claimed asylum. Immigrant rights advocates and some Democrats have said that Title 42 denied asylum opportunities to people fleeing violence and political turmoil in their home countries.
Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro N. Mayorkas warned last month that an impending return to Title 8 meant there would be “harsh consequences for irregular immigration,” including a five-year ban and possible criminal charges for repeat offenders. to enter the United States. Those results will resume immediately after Title 42 is removed, he said.
While millions of immigrants were quickly deported under Title 42 over the past three years, many were granted humanitarian or other exemptions; For them, Title 8 rules still apply.
About 60 percent of the 1.1 million migrants encountered by federal agents at the US southern border from October 2022 to March 2023 were processed under Title 8, according to the latest public data from US Customs and Border Protection.
While crossings and asylum claims were expected to increase with the end of Title 42, officials have said they expect the number of crossings to drop because people who try to cross illegally under Title 8 severe punishment for them.
Even before the official end of Title 42, the number of immigrants processed under its provisions began to decline this week. Border Patrol chief Raul L. Ortiz said that, as of Tuesday, less than 20 percent of immigrants were processed under Title 42.