Feds delay expulsion of Haitians, Cubans and Nicaraguans from El Paso

Section 42 migrants are sent by plane or bus to other ports for removal; Juarez says first remote asylum appointments were made online

EL PASO, TX (Border Report) — The US government has begun deporting migrants from Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua to Mexico who enter the country illegally as the Biden administration implements a new remote asylum application process for citizens of those countries.

Federal officials in El Paso have not sent any of these migrants to Juarez, Mexico, where church shelters are already nearly full due to the permanent residence of Venezuelan citizens in the city and the constant flow of new arrivals from the Mexican village and Hispanics. America. Instead, border guards fly and take them to other cities for Section 42 deportation.

“Here in the El Paso sector, we are still implementing Section 42 deportations of Venezuelans, Mexicans, and people from the Northern Triangle of Central America,” said Carlos A. Rivera, a spokesman for the US Border Patrol. As for Haitians, Cubans and Nicaraguans, “we carry out these releases in other sectors with our decompression flights and take them by bus to other ports of entry, and that is where we carry out Section 42 delayed releases.”

The expulsion goes hand in hand with a new program announced by the Biden administration on Jan. 6, directing Haitians, Cubans and Nicaraguans to use the CBP One mobile app to apply for asylum. The program requires applicants to have a financial sponsor in the United States, meet security requirements, and other criteria. Up to 30,000 citizens of these peoples came to the country every month.

Mexican officials on Thursday said they were already helping migrants stranded in Juarez find and understand the online app.

“Today we saw several people access CBP One and fill out their applications,” said Enrique Valenzuela, head of the Chihuahua Population Board, which runs the Juarez Migrant Assistance Center. “We have seen some of them receive notification that their applications have been received and, in some cases, they have been given a date and time to report at their US port of entry in Paso del Norte.

Juarez mainly receives from the US authorities single adults detained after illegally crossing the border to look for work and transfer money to family members in their home countries. These economic migrants are mainly from southern Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras.

The US Border Patrol also reports ongoing clashes with groups of Ecuadorian and Colombian migrants in the El Paso sector.

Lawyers approve new CBP processing center but still want immigration reform

Immigrant rights advocates in El Paso visited the new US Customs and Border Protection Center in northeast El Paso on Tuesday. Some have been delighted by the sheer size of the 150,000-square-foot tent facility, which remains largely empty due to a sharp drop in migrant encounters over the past three weeks.

CBP’s new soft-walled processing facility in northeast El Paso. (border report)

“All is clear. Everything looks brand new: it has a brand new smell,” said Patrick Giuliani, director of policy at the Hope Frontier Institute in El Paso. “They look like they’re ready for the big numbers they predict they’ll see with these changes.”

The facility has a large kitchen and living quarters, and will be dined by contractors, not U.S. Border Patrol agents. This is expected to allow more agents to remain on patrol during surges in migrant processing.

The federal government has accelerated the launch of the facility as the number of daily calls exceeded 2,000 in early October and mid-December. But cold weather, the Supreme Court suspending Section 42 removals, and the arrival of the Texas Army National Guard, which installed barbed wire and military equipment along the Rio Grande, drastically reduced that number. Only 762 migrants were in CBP custody on Thursday, according to the City of El Paso’s online Migrant Dashboard.

Giuliani said federal officials are keeping the 1,000-bed facility on standby in case the court finally strikes down Section 42.

“The number of migrants is always growing and decreasing. We’ve seen slowdowns, we’ve had bursts. Having this infrastructure is good (preparing for the future),” he said. “In El Paso, we saw street releases when the numbers skyrocketed and we didn’t have the resources to give people a place to handle safely and securely. So this empowerment to accept more people with dignity and respect is welcome.”

However, Giuliani said reforming America’s immigration laws is the lawyers’ priority. He condemned the recently approved expulsions of Haitians, Nicaraguans and Cubans.

“While we are happy to see new ways to access the United States, we are not happy that they come with the sacrifice of other people’s well-being or access to the system,” he said. “The fact that this creates new barriers and continues to support Section 42 is not the promise we’ve been given about humane immigration reform.”

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