Immigration Advocates Push for End to Restrictions as Ukrainians Seek Safety in the U.S.

The immigration crisis has been a constant factor in American politics for over a decade, and since the pandemic, restrictions on travel and immigration have left an already taxed system to pick up the pieces. Now, in light of the war on Ukraine, thousands of Ukrainian migrants are desperately seeing help from the United States.

Border Restrictions

Since early 2020, immigration has been restricted due to COVID-19 policies. These restrictions were originally put in place to protect the population from further infection. However, it's these very protections that are leaving countless migrants in the cold.

Immigration authorities continue to reject those seeking asylum and frustrations are beginning to reach a fever pitch. For them, Title 42 has become a barrier to entry that is unnecessary. The law was originally put in place by the Trump Administration at a time when infection rates were high and the number of deaths grew daily.

However, as numbers continue to drop and the rate of death becomes the lowest in over three years, immigration advocates are pushing the Biden Administration to end the restrictions and open up the borders to immigrants coming from around the world.

Title 42

During the height of the pandemic, the CDC warned the public of high rates of infection and risk of death. Strain after strain of the coronavirus brought new symptoms and greater concerns. To combat infection rates, former President Trump issued Title 42, a law that would limit the number of migrants crossing the border.

The restrictions empower immigration officials and enforcement officers to restrict the number of migrants crossing the border entirely or on a case-by-case basis. This not only included rejecting migrants at the border crossing area but also deporting those already residing in the United States in detention centers to stop the spread of infection.

The order became an order for expulsion meaning as soon as migrants are taken into custody, they would be expelled (deported) to minimize the chances of infection within detention facilities. The Biden administration upheld the policy and expelled over 10,000 deportees within a three-month period. Since the policy came into effect, officials have deported over 1.7 million migrants.

Ending Title 42

While the expulsion policy may have been instituted to slow the spread of the coronavirus, advocates and immigrants alike are frustrated by the administration's continuance of it into 2022. Two cases have been brought before the U.S. court advocating for the end of Title 42.

One of the cases came from an unlikely source: Texas. Gov. Greg Abbott has been clear about his intentions to limit the number of migrants entering the country through the southern border. The legislature is pushing for an end to the policy because they believe it is encroaching on the state’s power to manage immigration.

What Happens Now?

The administration has decided to exempt unaccompanied minors from Title 42, but it seems as though lawmakers are hesitant to remove Title 42 entirely. The crisis in Ukraine has left millions of displaced Ukrainians to search for safety and many are coming to the United States hoping for refuge.

Many families are already experiencing hardship while trying to immigrate legally which leaves advocates to believe that immigration during a crisis should not be so difficult. The safety of Ukrainian refugees is of the utmost importance, but it’s unclear how much of the current immigration policies will allow them to find peace in the U.S.

If you need an immigration advocate, contact Sintsirmas & Mueller Co. L.P.A. today.