The current administration has begun implementing flights to Colombia for deported Venezuelan immigrants that have resident status in that country.
With an increasing flow of immigrants on the southern border, the government has begun to resort to new measures to reduce the number of people seeking asylum and residence in the country. The Title 42 policy was first installed during the Trump era under the guise of a health policy in the midst of a pandemic, while serving as a powerful legal tool to effectively stop all immigration to the country.
Despite public disavowal, the Biden administration has kept this controversial policy, arguing that it is up to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to decide when it should be eliminated. Deportations under Title 42 have been used extensively as a border policy, particularly during spikes in immigration.
The current presidential administration came to power with promises to improve the situation for the migrant community. Yet, for many immigration advocates, after a whole year we have seen very little advances on this front, and even suffered more than a few setbacks.
While the Build Back Better Act is stalled in Congress, other measures like the termination of the Remain in Mexico program (also called Migrant Protection Protocols) were disabled by court orders, forcing the government to continue implementing it. Essential programs for the migrant community like DACA have also been obstructed, and some currently working programs are also at risk.
The Title 42 controversy
A strong point of criticism towards the government is the continued application of the policy known as “Title 42”, implemented during the Trump era with the aim of mitigating the advance of the Coronavirus. This policy was first put into effect in March 2020, when the Coronavirus was beginning to be felt in the United States.
Basically, this measure allows the director of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to prohibit the entry into the country of those people who are believed to pose a risk of being carriers of a communicable disease – in this case, Covid 19. Under Title 42, border officials can expel undocumented immigrants they find at the border from the country without a prior hearing and can even reject asylum seekers who approach authorized border points to present their case.
Health experts have questioned the effectiveness of the measure based on evidence gathered during its implementation. But the current government insists that it is necessary to continue applying it to protect the health of Americans.
Why are Venezuelan immigrants being deported under Title 42?
A few days ago, news broke that the government had begun to implement flights to Colombia to expel Venezuelan immigrants without documents who had previously resided in that country. The United States has suspended diplomatic relations with Venezuela, and according to statements by government officials, it does not contemplate deporting Venezuelans to their country of origin because it is not considered a safe alternative.
However, now it seems that they have incorporated deportation for Venezuelans residing in a third country, such as Colombia. The measure caused panic in the Venezuelan migrant community, since Title 42 can be applied even to people who request asylum according to the established protocol.
Venezuela is one of the countries that has TPS – Temporary Protected Status – in the United States due to the serious economic, political and social situation that the country is going through. According to the Customs and Border Protection Office, during the last months of 2021 there were at least 60,000 Venezuelans registered at border encounters, far exceeding the registration of the last two fiscal years.
If you are in need of immigration legal advice, do not hesitate to contact us! At the Law Office of Shelle-Ann Simon we have wide experience in immigration proceedings, family law, and personal injury and have successfully defended our clients for over 10 years. Contact us through our website or give us a call at 281-606-5362!