DHS Continues to Prepare for End of Title 42; Announces New … – Homeland Security
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WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continues to prepare for the end of the Title 42 public health order, which is currently the subject of multiple court orders, and a return to processing all noncitizens under the Department’s Title 8 immigration authorities. To that end, DHS today announced new border enforcement measures to improve border security, limit irregular migration, and create additional safe and orderly processes for people fleeing humanitarian crises to lawfully come to the United States. These measures, taken together, are concrete steps to enhance the security of our border while the Title 42 public health order is in place, and that DHS will continue to build on in preparation for the Title 42 order being lifted.
DHS will continue to monitor developments on the southwest border and will accelerate or implement additional measures, as needed, consistent with applicable court orders.
“We can provide humanitarian relief consistent with our values, cut out vicious smuggling organizations, and enforce our laws,” said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “Individuals without a legal basis to remain in the United States will be subject to prompt expulsion or removal. Individuals who are provided a safe, orderly, and lawful path to the United States are less likely to risk their lives traversing thousands of miles in the hands of ruthless smugglers, only to arrive at our southern border and face the legal consequences of unlawful entry.”
As required by a combination of the Supreme Court’s December 27 order and a separate district court injunction prohibiting the implementation of the CDC termination of the Title 42 public health order, the Title 42 order remains in effect, and individuals who attempt to enter the United States without authorization will continue to be expelled.
Country-Specific Enforcement Processes
Building upon the success of Uniting for Ukraine and the process for Venezuelans announced in October – which combine a safe and lawful pathway with a consequence for failing to use that pathway – today’s announcement establishes similar processes for Cuban, Haitian, and Nicaraguan nationals who face unique challenges in their home countries. The Venezuelan process also will continue; Border Patrol saw a dramatic drop – 90 percent – in the number of Venezuelans encountered at the border following the establishment of the program in October. Nationals from Venezuela, Cuba, Haiti, and Nicaragua who do not avail themselves of this process, attempt to enter the United States without authorization, and cannot establish a legal basis to remain will be removed or returned to Mexico, which will accept returns of 30,000 individuals per month who fail to use these new pathways. The expansion of the Venezuela process to Cuba, Haiti, and Nicaragua is contingent on the Government of Mexico’s willingness to accept the return or removal of nationals from those countries. It also is responsive to a request from the Government of Mexico to provide additional legal pathways for migrants, and it advances both countries’ interests in addressing the effects throughout the hemisphere of deteriorated conditions in these countries.
Specifically, these processes will provide a lawful and streamlined way for qualifying nationals of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela to apply to come to the United States, without having to make the dangerous journey to the border. Through a fully online process, individuals can seek advance authorization to travel to the United States and be considered, on a case-by-case basis, for a temporary grant of parole for up to two years, including employment authorization, provided that they: pass rigorous biometric and biographic national security and public safety screening and vetting; have a supporter in the United States who commits to providing financial and other support; and complete vaccinations and other public health requirements. Individuals who enter the United States, Mexico, or Panama without authorization following today’s announcement will generally be ineligible for these processes. These processes will allow up to 30,000 qualifying nationals per month from all four of these countries to reside legally in the United States for up to two years and to receive permission to work here, during that period.
Starting tomorrow, potential supporters can apply to DHS to support eligible individuals via www.uscis.gov/CHNV. Individuals and representatives of organizations seeking to apply as supporters must declare their financial support, and they must pass security background checks to protect against exploitation and abuse.
Safe and Orderly Processes at Ports of Entry
To facilitate the safe and orderly arrival of noncitizens seeking an exception from the Title 42 public health order, DHS is expanding use of the free CBP One mobile app for noncitizens to schedule arrival times at ports of entry. Individuals do not need to be at the border to schedule an appointment; expanded access to the app in Central Mexico is designed to discourage noncitizens from congregating near the border in unsafe conditions. Initially, this new scheduling function will allow noncitizens to schedule a time and place to come to a port of entry to seek an exception from the Title 42 public health order for humanitarian reasons based on an individualized assessment of vulnerability. This will replace the current process for individuals seeking exceptions from the Title 42 public health order, which requires noncitizens to submit requests through third party organizations located near the border.
Once the Title 42 public health order is no longer in place, this scheduling mechanism will be available for noncitizens, including those who seek to make asylum claims, to schedule a time to present themselves at a port of entry for inspection and processing, rather than arriving unannounced at a port of entry or attempting to cross in-between ports of entry. Those who use this process will generally be eligible for work authorization during their period of authorized stay.
Individuals who use the CBP One app will be able to schedule an appointment to present themselves at the following ports of entry:
During their inspection process, noncitizens must verbally attest to their COVID-19 vaccination status and provide, upon request, proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in accordance with Title 19 vaccination requirements.
Individuals will be able to schedule appointments in CBP One in the coming days. The CBP One application is free to download and available in the Apple and Google App Stores as well as at https://www.cbp.gov/about/mobile-apps-directory/cbpone.
Enhanced Use of Expedited Removal
We will comply with the court orders that require us to continue enforcing the Title 42 public health order. There are, however, migrants who cannot be expelled pursuant to Title 42 authorities and as a result are processed under Title 8 authorities. For those processed under Title 8, we are increasing and enhancing our use of expedited removal, which allows for the prompt removal of those who do not claim a fear of persecution or torture or are determined not to have a credible fear after an interview with an Asylum Officer, in accordance with established procedures.
This enhanced expedited removal process will include: dedicating additional resources including personnel, transportation, and facilities; optimizing processes across DHS and DOJ; and working with the State Department and countries in the region to increase repatriations. We also will continue to process individuals under the interim final rule published in March 2022 outlining procedures for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to process asylum requests for noncitizens found to have a credible fear. Together, these measures will allow for the prompt removal of those who do not have a legal basis to stay and improve our overall preparedness for when the Title 42 public health order is lifted. Individuals removed under Title 8 are subject to a five-year bar on admission and potential criminal prosecution should they seek to reenter.
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
As a complement to these efforts, and in response to the unprecedented surge in migration across the hemisphere and to reduce encounters at our border, DHS and DOJ intend to issue a proposed rule to provide that individuals who circumvent available, established pathways to lawful migration, and also fail to seek protection in a country through which they traveled on their way to the United States, will be subject to a rebuttable presumption of asylum ineligibility in the United States unless they meet exceptions that will be specified. Individuals who cannot establish a valid claim to protection under the standards set out in the new rule will be subject to prompt removal under Title 8 authorities, which carries a five-year ban on reentry. DHS and DOJ will invite public comment on the proposed rule.
Overall, through today’s announcements, DHS is strengthening the availability of legal, orderly pathways to the United States while imposing consequences on those who fail to use pathways made available to them by the United States and its regional partners.
These new measures complement ongoing efforts to increase refugee resettlement from the Western Hemisphere. The U.S. Government intends to welcome at least 20,000 refugees from Latin America and the Caribbean in Fiscal Year 2023 and 2024, putting the United States on pace to more than triple refugee admissions from the Western Hemisphere this Fiscal Year alone. This delivers on the President’s commitment under the Los Angeles Declaration for Migration and Protection to scale up refugee admissions from the Western Hemisphere.
Taken together, these efforts will: reduce irregular migration by disincentivizing migrants from taking the dangerous journey to the southwest border of the United States and attempting to cross without authorization; significantly expand lawful pathways to the United States for vetted individuals; and reduce the role for – and profits of – smuggling networks that callously endanger migrants’ lives for personal gain.
The Department is taking these measures in light of Congress’s failure to pass the comprehensive immigration reform measures President Biden proposed on his first day in office and the economic and political instability around the world that is fueling the highest levels of migration since World War II, including throughout the Western Hemisphere. The surge in global migration is testing many nations’ immigration systems, including that of the United States. The actions announced today are part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing commitment to enforce our laws and build a fair, orderly, and humane immigration system, and build on efforts outlined in the Department’s December 2022 Update on Southwest Border Security and Preparedness. Today’s announcements also show the imperative of partner countries working together, as agreed in the Los Angeles Declaration following the Summit of the Americas, to take action against smugglers and provide protection to asylum seekers. Hemispheric challenges require hemispheric solutions.
Everyone agrees that we are operating within a fundamentally broken immigration system. The steps we are taking reflect the constraints of our outdated statutes, which have not been updated in decades and were designed to address a fundamentally different migratory reality than that which exists today along the southwest border and around the world. As it has since its first day in office, the Biden-Harris Administration continues to call on Congress to pass legislation that strengthens border security, holistically addresses the root causes of migration, and improves legal pathways. We also encourage Congress to provide critical funding and advance bipartisan efforts to create a fair, fast, and functioning asylum system – enabling those who merit protection to quickly receive it, and those who do not to quickly be removed. In the absence of such action, the Administration is committed to pursuing every avenue within its authority to secure our borders, enforce our laws, and stay true to our values as we build safe, orderly, and humane processes.
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