Migrants face new border reality as Title 42 pandemic restrictions expire

Pandemic-related asylum restrictions that expelled migrants millions of times have ended in a shift that threatens to put a historic strain on the nation’s beleaguered immigration system. (Adobe image)

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — The U.S. entered a new immigration enforcement era Friday, ending a three-year-old asylum restriction and enacting a set of strict new rules that the Biden administration hopes will stabilize the U.S.-Mexico border and push migrants to apply for protections where they are, skipping the dangerous journey north.

The transition has been far from simple. Even as the old policy known as Title 42 expired, migrants along the border were still wading into the Rio Grande to take their chances getting into the country, defying officials shouting for them to turn back. Others hunched over cellphones trying to access an appointment app, a centerpiece of the new measures, while others with appointments walked across a bridge hoping for a new life. And lawsuits sought to stop some of the measures.