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Immigration Update

The controversial Title 42 policy, which has allowed border agents to turn back migrants who cross the U.S.-Mexico border without considering their asylum claims expires with the COVID-19 public health emergency this Thursday. The Defense Department is sending 1,500 troops to the U.S. southern border to help address an expected spike in migration. The troops would assist Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers with administrative tasks, freeing up CBP officers to handle the migration influx. Most Republicans strongly oppose ending Title 42.  Senators Sinema and Tillis have announced bipartisan legislation to effectively continue Title 42.

As mentioned, the House considered a border security package to coincide with the end of Title 42. The measure includes bills already approved by the Homeland Security, Foreign Affairs and Judiciary committees. The House proposal would restrict asylum access for migrants traveling to the border, heighten penalties for immigration violations, restart border wall construction and modernize surveillance technology. It would also limit federal funding for nonprofits that help migrants, and require the government to negotiate agreements with other nations to return asylum-seekers to Mexico, among other immigration changes.