As Title 42 ends, US troops to Mexican border

border wall

President Joe Biden is temporarily deploying 1,500 soldiers to the US-Mexico border ahead of the end of a pandemic-era entry restriction known as Title 42 on May 11. The soldiers are to perform administrative tasks, but critics say the move sends the message that migration is a threat. Tens of thousands of asylum seekers and migrants currently stranded in dire conditions in northern Mexican border cities by US policies are growing increasingly desperate and frustrated. More than 15,000 people—mostly from Venezuela—crossed the border in the vicinity of Brownsville late last month, overwhelming shelter capacity. And in El Paso, nearly 2,000 people who recently crossed the border are sleeping on sidewalks in the city center. The Biden administration has introduced a number of policies aimed at extending asylum restrictions at the border and curbing migration. The administration reached a deal with Mexico on May 2 that for the first time allows the US to deport non-Mexicans who enter the country irregularly back across the border.

From The New Humanitarian, May 5

Note: Title 42 is only poised to finally end because the US public health emergency declaration for the COVID-19 pandemic which it is based on expires on May 11.

Photo: Savitri Arvey, The Conversation

  1. Minors die in US migrant detention centers

    A 17-year-old from Honduras died in the custody US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) according to a May 12 statement by the HHS. Enrique Reina, foreign affairs secretary for Honduras, identified the unaccompanied minor and offered his condolences in a tweet. Reina stated that Ángel Eduardo Maradiaga Espinoza died in a shelter in Safety Harbor, Florida, while in the custody of the ORR. Reina also stated that the Honduran embassy is in contact with Espinoza’s family and is investigating the matter.

    During a May 12 press briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also confirmed that a six-year-old who had been in HHS custody “for a number of weeks” had died in custody. Jean-Pierre said a medical investigation into the death had been opened. No further details were given. (Jurist)

  2. Another minor dies in migrant detention center

    An eight-year-old migrant girl from Panama with a heart condition died in federal custody in Texas on May 17 after crossing the border with her family. She was being held with her family at a Border Patrol station in Harlingen. (CBS News)