WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNN) – Title 42 expires Thursday night. The policy, put in place in 2020 to curb the spread of COVID 19 gave the U.S. government power to swiftly expel migrants at the southern border.
For days now, the number of migrants waiting to cross has been surging, challenging a humanitarian crisis that is already unfolding there.
Erick Mendoza is breaking down. He faces the possibility of deportation after making the months-long trek from his native Honduras. He says he paid $50 for a set of documents. It’s a likely scam many migrants desperate for answers are falling prey to.
He says he wants to be here legally. Just like him, there are thousands more in El Paso.
Rosaura Rivas says her husband and four kids fled violence from Venezuela. They’ve spent the last month at a shelter. She helps out in the kitchen, trying to save money to buy bus tickets to Denver where they have friends.
The opportunity center for the homeless in El Paso can barely keep up.
John Martin is the deputy director of Opportunity Center for the Homeless. He said, “We need to do what’s right by these folks, they’ve gone through so much.”
Meanwhile, El Paso city officials are working to open up emergency shelters and say the city is at breaking point.
Director of communications for the city of El Paso, Laura Cruz-Acosta, said, “We want to be able to find a solution to how do we take care of the human person because they are human beings.”
Federal officials are trying to discourage migrants from crossing.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said, “Let me be clear, the lifting of the Title 42 health order does not mean our border is open, in fact, it is the contrary.”
Those who are already here wait and do their best with what they have. Others try to stay connected and hopeful while their families on the other side of screen are a constant reminder of why they’re here.
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