U.S. experiences major shifts in immigration rules as Title 42 expires

EL PASO, Texas (NBC) – It’s the day border cities and the Biden administration have been bracing for. Title 42 is over.

The COVID-era policy allowed the U.S. to quickly remove asylum seekers. Its expiration is expected to lead to a significant increase in border crossings.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas warns the border is not open. People who cross illegally will now face tougher consequences including a minimum five-year ban on reentry

The end of Title 42 brings the beginning of a new wave of concerns about migrants entering the U.S.

It’s been a long journey, for Yineth Palencia and her family. She said they traveled through seven countries before crossing the southern border to El Paso, Texas.

Using a translator, Palencia told NBC News, “My dreams are many the first is to give a better future for my kids.”

Thousands of migrants are expected to make similar journeys now that Title 42 has lifted.

Republicans blasted the White House saying it failed to have a plan in place.

Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) said, “Every American needs to say to the Biden administration, ‘You were elected to enforce the law. Enforce the law, enforce the law.’”

The Biden administration is defending its record, saying it’s hiring more border patrol agents, increasing the number of people processing paperwork, and enforcing tougher consequences for unlawful entry.

Secretary Mayorkas said, “I cannot overstate how much of a challenge it is going to be and how we all have to deal with it as one administration and one country.”

Federal agencies are also working closely with border communities and encouraging migrants to take legal pathways into the U.S. or face consequences.

“We engaged in a very sensitive and humane law enforcement operation to address that challenge,” Mayorkas said.

Officials are holding their breath while migrants are holding out hope.

Now that Title 42 has ended, migrants would have to seek asylum in another country before applying here in the U.S.

The ACLU filed a legal challenge against the Biden administration’s restrictions claiming it places vulnerable asylum seekers in danger

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