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Migrants Have an Advantage Over Us Courts by Crossing the Border into Mexico
Even before the United States Supreme Court decided on Tuesday to retain a measure aimed at discouraging illegal border crossings in place, hundreds of migrants in northern Mexico were taking matters into their own hands in order to enter the United States.
The divisive pandemic-era law known as Title 42 was set to expire on December 21, but last-minute court delays put border policy in jeopardy, prompting an increasing number of migrants to feel they had nothing to lose by crossing regardless.
After spending days in freezing border cities, groups of migrants from Venezuela and other countries targeted by Title 42 decided to flee rather than face the uncertainty of the legal tug-of-war in US courts.
“We raced and hid until we made it,” said Jhonatan, a Venezuelan migrant who crossed the border from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, into El Paso, Texas, on Monday night with his wife and five children ranging in age from three to sixteen.
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Jhonatan, who spoke on the phone and only gave his first name, claimed he had already spent several months in Mexico and did not want to enter the United States illegally. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that Trump’s border policy will remain in effect while legal challenges are resolved (CNN)
“U.S. Supreme Court says Trump-era border policy will continue in effect until legal challenges are resolved”.The United States Supreme Court has ruled that Trump’s border policy will remain in effect while legal challenges are resolved.
But the notion of failing after a trek through the hazardous forests of Darien in Panama, up Central America, and into Mexico was too much for him. “It would be the final straw for them to send us back to Venezuela,” he told Reuters.
The United States Supreme Court allowed a request by a group of Republican state attorneys general to stay a judge’s finding invalidating Title 42 on Tuesday. They claimed that removing it will promote border crossings. During its February session, the court said it would hear arguments on whether states could intervene to defend Title 42. The decision is expected before the end of June.
Last week, Reuters photographs showed migrants running over a busy motorway alongside the border, one man barefoot and carrying a little child – the type of perilous crossing that alarms migrant advocates. “We’re talking about people who come to seek refuge… and then continue to cross the border in really risky ways,” said Fernando Garcia, director of the Border Network for Human Rights.
According to John Martin, assistant director of El Paso’s Opportunity Center for the Homeless, the majority of migrants admitted to his shelter are illegal immigrants, including many Venezuelans. “At one point, the majority was recorded; now I’m seeing the opposite,” he explained.
On the eve of the Supreme Court decision, a Venezuelan migrant in Ciudad Juarez named Antonio said he was waiting to see whether US border patrol would ease up, intending to earn money in the US to give a home. “If they don’t repeal Title 42,” he continued, “we’ll keep coming in illegally.”
Other migrants said they had run out of choices elsewhere along the border. “We don’t have a future in Mexico,” Cesar, a Venezuelan migrant in Tijuana who did not disclose his last name, explained, explaining why he has tried and will try again to sneak over the border fence into the United States.