Breaking News
More () »

Thousands gather at the U.S.-Mexico border ahead of Title 42 expiring

The pandemic-era restriction ends Thursday, and preparations have been underway to prepare for a continued surge at the border.

SAN DIEGO — Thousands of migrants are gathering at the U.S.-Mexico border, hoping to claim asylum once Title 42 ends on May 11.

The pandemic-era restriction ends Thursday, and preparations have been underway to prepare for a continued surge at the border.

Title 42 has been in place for more than three years. It was designed as a way to restrict people from entering the United States as a way to prevent COVID. Once it expires, more people will have the opportunity to seek asylum in the U.S.

President Biden is deploying 1,500 troops to the southern border this week in preparation for the influx. The administration is also expanding appointments at processing centers and allowing people to apply for asylum in their home countries to see if they'll be allowed in before making the treacherous journey to the U.S. It's estimated up to 10,000 migrants could enter the southern border every day once Title 42 is lifted.

What's Title 42?

Title 42 is a public health order adopted by the Trump administration three years ago because of the COVID pandemic. It allows border agents to automatically turn away migrants without documentation at the border, even those seeking asylum.

What's Title 8?

"Title 8: Aliens and Nationality" is a section of the U.S. Code that contains all of the country's immigration laws.

Under Title 8, the Biden administration will enforce a new rule that bars some migrants from applying for asylum in the U.S. if they cross the border illegally or fail to first apply for asylum in another country.

Title 8 also includes an "expedited removal" process, which means that migrants who cannot establish a legal basis to remain in the U.S. -  such as showing a credible threat of persecution in their home country - will be expelled.

Those who pass their credible threat interview will be authorized to enter the United States to continue the asylum process.

Legal analyst Dan Eaton points out that seeking asylum in the United States is difficult.

"The fact that more people will attempt to cross the border and enter this country does not mean that substantially more people will ultimately be allowed to remain in the United States after this process is completed," Eaton told CBS 8. 

What happens when Title 42 ends?

Once Title 42 expires on May 11, border officials anticipate that as many as 10,000 migrants a day could cross the border, almost double the daily average just a few months ago.

Unlike Title 42, those migrants crossing the border after May 11 will at least have the opportunity to try to seek asylum in the United States under federal immigration law, known as Title 8.

"There was no asylum process under Title 42," Eaton pointed out. "They were just returned: period, hard stop."

Under Title 42, there were no consequences for repeated illegal border crossings.

Under Title 8, though, migrants who are expelled could face more serious consequences.

"An individual who is removed is subject to at least a five-year ban on admission to the United States and can face criminal prosecution for any subsequent attempt to cross the border illegally," said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

How migrants use the CBP One app:

CBP One is a mobile application that serves as a single portal for various CBP services. Through a series of guided questions, the app will direct each type of user to the appropriate services based on their needs.

Some migrants use the app to streamline their immigration process to the United States.

Watch Related: Title 42 | One migrant from Jamaica shares his story (May 6, 2023)

Before You Leave, Check This Out