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CANA | Contextual analysis: A year after the end of Title 42




From the Advocacy Dimension of RJM CANA, we continue to monitor the reality of migration in the Central America-North America region. At our meeting in April 2024, it was evident that, even though a year has passed since the end of Title 42, the containment of migrants and externalization of the US-Mexico border has continued throughout the region. Although Title 42 was intended as a public health measure during the Covid-19 pandemic, it was effectively used to keep migrants out of the United States and restrict the right to asylum.

 

At 11:59 p.m. on May 11, 2023, Title 42 officially ended, marking a highly anticipated moment. However, analysis by the various Jesuit works that comprise the RJM CANA network shows that, over the past year, borders to contain migrants have actually multiplied. These invisible walls, built through restrictive policies, prevent migrants from accessing protection and security in their destination countries. The following policies illustrate this reality:

 

  • The Circumvention of Lawful Pathways Rule, enacted on May 11, 2023, penalizes migrants for requesting asylum between ports of entry without a CBP One appointment.  

  • The limited number of CBP One appointments, along with long and unpredictable wait times, generates anxiety among the migrant population stranded along the US-Mexico border. This situation leads some to resort to irregular border crossings, undermining the measure's intended purpose (see JRS USA and Boston College report).

  • Bilateral agreements, often lacking transparency, have been established between the US and Latin American countries. These agreements generally aim to prevent migrants from moving within the region and accessing common migration routes. As a result, migrants are exposed to greater dangers by being forced to seek alternative pathways to the United States. The violence faced by migrants is also increasing due to harsh enforcement practices.  

  • Mexican migrants have been coerced into accepting "voluntary returns" to Mexico, being misled into believing they do not have the right to asylum and threatened with a five-year ban if they do not comply.  

  • Certain measures taken by other countries in the region are cause for concern. For example, the suspension of Doctors Without Borders in Panama, the resumption of deportation flights to Cuba, and the continuation of deportations to Haiti, despite high levels of violence and the absence of a functional government.

 

Therefore, even though the application of Title 42 ended a year ago, full access to the right to asylum in the US remains an unfulfilled promise. Borders throughout the region remain closed, and migrants continue to be exposed to greater risks and vulnerabilities, while humanitarian and civil society organizations bear the responsibility of caring for them. In this context, the Jesuit Network with Migrants continues to advocate for migration measures and policies that prioritize informed, accompanied, and protected migration.

Download de Context analysis here.


Context analysis RJM CANA
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