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Title 42 is ending. So what laws take effect now?

Title 42 ending doesn't mean there won't be rules and procedures related to immigration — but how effective they are remains to be determined.
Title 42 is ending. So what laws take effect now?
Posted at 4:12 AM, May 11, 2023

Title 42 is set to end at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday. 

Tens of thousands of migrants are expected to try to enter the U.S. once the policy ends. 

Many migrants have been waiting for weeks in Mexico ahead of the policy change.

What happens next?

Even though Title 42 was set to end, that doesn't mean there are no immigration rules. 

Rules known as Title 8 immigration rules go back into effect, as well as new policies from the Biden administration. 

How effective these policies are is what's to be determined. 

As a reminder, since March 2020, when asylum seekers came to the border, in most cases, immigration officials could immediately reject them in the name of public health. 

Title 42, after all, was a public health order.

In a post-Title 42 environment, asylum seekers won't be turned away because of a pandemic. 

Instead, Title 8 rules are in effect. 

If a migrant has an appointment scheduled, they will go through a screening process to determine eligibility for asylum.  

If they pass, they'll stay in the country for more court hearings. 

However, a new government rule says migrants who don't have an appointment will be rejected.

Some exceptions exist, including if a migrant is an unaccompanied minor, or a parent with a sick child.

As White House officials tell Scripps News, border agents will scrutinize more of those seeking asylum during individual interviews.

If migrants don't have a valid claim, they'll face what is known as "expedited removal." 

Nationality matters

Who is allowed to stay in the U.S. will very much depend on their country of origin.

For context, we sat down with Doris Meissner. Meissner was the Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service back in the 1990s, and is now with the Migration Policy Institute.

Meissner says nationality matters first and foremost with migrants from Nicaragua, Cuba, Haiti and Venezuela.

Right now, the U.S. — because of ongoing political turmoil in those countries — is allowing 30,000 total migrants a month from those countries to receive asylum if someone here backs them.

However, they must do so from their home country or online outside the United States via something known as the CBP One mobile app.

If those migrants show up to the border without doing anything beforehand, they will likely face removal.

Mexico has agreed to take many of them, since the U.S. doesn't have strong enough relations with those specific countries to send them back. 

The biggest policy change Meissner says is migrants will have had to attempt to declare asylum somewhere else first.

If they show up at the southern border without doing so they could be swiftly denied.

This rule does not apply to Mexican citizens.

"What the administration is trying to do is create more orderliness in the flows," Meissner said. 

Meissner says the hardest part with the new rules is that it may take a while for migrants to understand them. 

As a result, migrants are still expected to show up at the border. 

Not to mention, it is still U.S. law that the country must accept people legitimately facing persecution and needing help. 

The courts could even block some of President Biden's efforts if these restrictions are deemed too much.

"Most likely there will be litigation," Meissner said.  

SEE MORE: What is being done to manage migrant spike after Title 42 ends?

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