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Advocates rally at the border against Title 42

A controversial policy, which allows the federal government to expel migrants seeking asylum, is set to continue. Title 42 was supposed to end Monday.

CHULA VISTA, Calif. — The California Welcoming Task Force and other migrant rights group leaders held a rally at the border on Monday morning against Title 42. The group is calling for an end to the policy at the San Ysidro Port of entry.

Some people, who crossed the U.S.- Mexico border say they were not surprised that the pandemic related asylum restrictions will remain in place here. But some people CBS 8 talked to said they do not mind that Title 42 will be extended because they think it is helpful due to COVID safety.

“I think it should stay in place, not only because of the pandemic, but also, I think it's important that we have some type of restrictions of people coming over because there are so many people coming over the Texas border and in California,” said Idyllwild resident Rodger Reeder.

Reeder and Annie Weaver from Idyllwild just crossed the border after a dentist appointment in Tijuana. They think a judge's decision to keep in place the Title 42 law that restricts migrants from seeking asylum at the Southern border is a good health and safety choice amid the pandemic.

"42 is at least a way to have some type of control,” Reeder said.

Immigrant rights advocates say not ending Title 42, as was originally planned on Monday, dashes any dreams for many in Mexico to safely cross.

"A lot of people had their hopes set on May 23. People who have been waiting here for at this point for months, if not years,” said Alex Mensing of the Innovation Law Lab non-profit.

In his ruling, a federal judge in Louisiana wrote that, "Ending Title 42 would result in immediate and irreparable harm due to a projected increase in border crossings and overcrowded processing facilities resulting in greater costs to provide health care and education."

Pedro Rios, the Director of American Friends Service Committee says Title 42 is less about COVID and more about the U.S. government not following federal law and international obligations to honor the legal process by allowing migrants to seek asylum just as Ukrainian refugees did.

"The U.S. government is not supposed to place people seeking asylum in harm’s way, and they do that when they return them to Mexico. Migrants are not necessarily bringing in or increasing the rate of infection of COVID-19. This is a political tool used during the midterm elections to suggest that border communities are out of control with a number of migrants that are coming in,” Rios said.

Advocates against Title 42 say it is only going to increase unsafe illegal border crossings.

"Let's let them into the US in a safe, organized manner, so they can appear before an asylum judge because otherwise, they'll resort to the old way, which is jumping over the wall, people are dying, children are being left out there by unethical smugglers, and that is chaos,” said Enrique Morones, Executive Director of Gente Unida.

Reeder says migrants are already crossing in unsafe ways now.

“They're doing that anyway, and it's happening anyway,” Reeder said.

The U.S. Justice Department says it plans to appeal the decision and added that the CDC has the authority to end Title 42.

WATCH RELATED: Judge: COVID asylum restrictions must continue on border (May 2022).


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