Pretoria News

US troops arrive as Title 42 expires


THOUSANDS of American troops are being deployed along the US-Mexico border, facing a chaotic surge of migrants as Title 42, a public health policy that allowed the swift expulsion migrants during the Covid-19 pandemic, came to an end yesterday.

The Title 42 policy was introduced in March 2020 by the administration of former president Donald Trump.

Under the policy, US authorities turned back would-be migrants – including those seeking humanitarian asylum – attempting to cross the border from Mexico more than 2.5 million times using the Covid-19 pandemic as justification.

About 2 500 US National Guard troops have already been at the country’s southern border.

The White House has said another 1 500 troops will be sent there before the end of this month, taking the military presence at the border to a total of 4 000 personnel.

The first set of new troops, about 550 personnel, headed to El Paso, Texas on Wednesday.

Texas Governor Greg Abbottalso announced this week that hundreds of Texas National Guard soldiers, equipped with Black Hawk helicopters and C-130s, are being deployed to a number of hot spots along the Rio Grande. A number of Texas border cities, including El Paso and Brownsville, among the hot spots, have recently issued disaster declarations so as to tap into more resources to manage the influx of migrants.

Online videos from the border show hundreds of migrants, including many children, waiting in line along the banks of the Rio Grande to seek asylum in the US.

In Brownsville alone, where a SUV rammed into a crowd outside a migrants centre on Sunday killing eight and injuring more than 10, some 7 000 migrants had been in custody.

More than 10 000 migrants were caught crossing at the US-Mexico border illegally each day on Monday and Tuesday, according to Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council.

On Wednesday, the Mexican government said the US expelled 2 825 970 people expelled at its border crossings in over the three years under Title 42. Mexico’s Interior Ministry said the vast majority were deported (2 710 494), with six out of 10 being Mexican nationals (1 641 746).

The bulk of the remaining migrants deported at the southern border came from countries including Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

Meanwhile, the ripple has been felt across the US. In New York, Governor Kathy Hochul issued an executive order allowing cities and the state to tap into more resources for new migrants. |





African News Agency