EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — With five weeks left until the stay order ends on Title 42, an El Paso immigration attorney says they have received hundreds of calls per day.
Nicolas Palazzo the Senior Attorney at Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy says migrants are calling asking if they can now cross the border.
“The word spread quickly like quick fire so people are aware of what is going on in the united states, but the message I want to make clear is crossing now likely puts you at risk of likely explosion back to Mexico or your country of origin,” said Palazzo.
A migrant on the Mexican side of the border says they have been hearing from others who have crossed that they will get sent back.
“We have a lot of doubt about turning ourselves in because our partners that turned themselves in, there’s a lot of them that tell us not to turn ourselves in because they’re going to send all of us back,” said the man standing by the tent city that was being cleaned up by Mexican officials as it had been partially abandoned.
The man is concerned if he crosses now officials will pick up his tent and if expelled, he will have nowhere to stay in Mexico.
“Practically here they just took down the tents our living spaces that’s a fear we have that if they send us back were not going to have the tents or blankets that they gave us,” he said.
However, the cold is a driving factor.
“It’s been a lot dealing with the cold and there’s a lot of anguish,” said the man who stood in front of a Venezuelan flag.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection says that on Nov. 16, border patrol experienced an elevated steady flow of migrants crossing the border. As we reported on Nov. 16, El Paso saw freezing temperatures overnight.
“The continuous flow began in the late afternoon and by 6:30pm, El Paso Sector agents had approximately 900 migrants in-custody primarily from Venezuela, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Cuba. In the last several days, the El Paso Sector Central Processing Center has averaged 2,400 migrants in holding, this includes the overflow area.”U.S. Customs and Border Protection
CBP added that the El Paso sector is still expelling migrants under Title 42.
Back on Oct. 12, the Department of Homeland Security announced it would also expel migrants from Venezuela, a country that had previously not been subject to Title 42 expulsion.
The Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement after the announcement regarding what would happen to those who crossed illegally.
“Those who attempt to cross the southern border of the United States illegally will be returned to Mexico and will be ineligible for this process in the future.”Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security
Immigration Attorney Palazzo’s calling the comment a scare tactic.
“I think it’s likely a scare tactic to desensitize people from crossing but in terms of the actual legal ramifications if you are expelled under Title 42 you have the right in the future to seek asylum in the united states,” said Palazzo.
Millions of people have been expelled under Title 42, and Palazzo calling on policy makers to make changes to the immigration system.
“They’ve used the corona virus and public health as a pretext to implement this policy as a way to essentially build a metaphorical wall cause that’s what Title 42 is, it’s more effective to create a policy of mass expulsion then to actually put concrete slabs in the ground,” said Palazzo.
After the stay order was granted by the court, the end date for Title 42 is midnight on December 21.