Thousands of migrants waiting in Mexico are weighing a tough decision of whether or not to cross into the U.S. after the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the Biden administration must keep Title 42, a major Trump-era illegal immigrant expulsion public health order, in place.
In a 5-4 decision, the high court ruled that Title 42, which was invoked to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, will stay indefinitely after Republican states intervened in a federal judge’s decision to end it on Dec. 21. Migrants waiting in Mexico are now weighing their options, knowing that if Border Patrol apprehends them, they will likely be expelled, according to multiple reports.
“We can’t go back,” Haitian migrant Roodline Pierre, who was awaiting Title 42’s end in Reynosa, Mexico, told The New York Times. “We left everything behind to be here.”
“These are no conditions for children,” Pierre, who was traveling with his wife and 14-month-old daughter, said. “No person should live like this. We want a better life, and now we are stuck here for much longer.”
Migrants are also worried there is nowhere to safely stay in the areas where they are waiting to cross, with many of the shelters already at capacity, according to the NYT. Many of them are sleeping outside in freezing temperatures.
“There is no room for any more people in there,” said Guatemalan migrant Daisy Rezino, 26, who was travelling with her two young daughters, according to the NYT. “We are going to have to sleep out here.”
“We went through a lot to get here,” Rezino said. “I don’t understand why they treat us like this. If they only saw the way we have to sleep here, no food to eat and no roof over our heads.”
Honduran migrant Mario Vazquez, 57, and his friend Jose Lopez, 33, can’t return home as they sold all their possessions to make the journey through Central America, according to the NYT. They stood silent for minutes after hearing the latest Title 42 decision.
“I wanted to cross to the United States,” Vazquez, who hoped to reunited with family in the U.S. and work in the country, said, according to the NYT. “But we will cross when God allows us to cross. It is all up to Him.”
El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser estimated that there are roughly 20,000 migrants waiting on the other side of the border in Juarez, Mexico, according to The Associated Press.
“I want to do things legally; they owe us the right to at least ask for asylum,” Venezuelan migrant Carlos Mojollon, who says he will wait for Title 42 to end, said in reference to the U.S. government, according to the New York Post.
Others, like Venezuelan migrant Luz Moztardo, 25, who was traveling with her husband and two children, had checked out of their hotel in Juarez early Tuesday, according to the NYP. They hoped to cross into the U.S. that day so they could eventually reach friends in New York City.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments in February to consider the future of Title 42.
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