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Valley groups protest extension of Title 42

2 months 2 weeks 4 days ago Monday, May 23 2022 May 23, 2022 May 23, 2022 7:38 PM May 23, 2022 in News - Immigration / Borderwall

Title 42 remains in effect Monday after a judge's ruling last Friday blocked the Biden administration's efforts to lift it. 

Valley groups who were hoping to celebrate the end of the program are now voicing their opposition to the ruling instead. 

RELATED: Judge: COVID asylum restrictions must continue on border  

A small group gathered Monday at the Gateway International Bridge in Brownsville to show their frustration with the ruling. 

Team Brownsville offers humanitarian assistance for asylum seekers and on Monday, they delivered a pointed message.

“Title 42 has been extremely inhumane and it needs to end,” said Andrea Rudnick, cofounder of Team Brownsville.

Rudnick, along with Joshua Rubin, the founder of the nonprofit group Witness at the Border, was initially hoping to use Monday to celebrate the end of Title 42.

“When it wasn’t lifted, we came down to mourn the fact that it wasn’t being lifted," Rubin said. "And to point out to people that this situation goes on and on and people on the other side of the bridge, all along the border, are in danger and we’re here for them.”

Rubin says Title 42 creates a barrier for people trying to get out of a desperate situation.

Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez says the city was also ready for the policy to be lifted Monday, but admitted he's not surprised it was extended.

“I’m seeing that it’s eventually going to be lifted, officially. How long that’s going to be, we don’t know, but in the meantime, we’re just going to continue with the process we have," Mendez said. "We have been extremely efficient in moving migrants to our community.”

Title 42 was put in place back in March 2020 as a public health order to expel migrants back to Mexico or their home countries due to COVID-19 concerns.

Now, Geoffrey Hoffman, the immigration clinic director with the University of Houston Law Center, says this will likely head to a lengthy battle in court.

“Hundreds of thousands of migrants who are coming to this country  a lot of them with bonafide, legitimate asylum claims  I would hope that the Biden administration would try to expedite and seek a review on appeal as soon as possible,” Hoffman said. 

Mendez said the COVID-19 positivity rate says among migrants has stayed steady over the last several months.

“Right now, it’s probably about one percent or two percent, and really no real public health concerns when it comes to the migrants that are coming over,” Mendez said. 

Mendez says regardless of what happens next, the city is ready.

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