Some migrants undeterred after Title 42 is upheld

STORY: Here in El Paso, Texas, migrants from Central and South America gather in shelters or on the streets, many of them planning their next steps in a new country.

Despite a U.S. Supreme Court decision this week leaving in place a protocol allowing migrants to be rapidly deported, many are undeterred.

Among them, Luis, a migrant from Venezuela, who said many from his country gave up everything for the chance at a new life.

“Many people sold their houses to take on this journey. How will you go back if you don’t have a place to return to in your country? So I decided to go on."

The Supreme Court on Tuesday left in place the policy known as Title 42, under which the U.S. typically can expel migrants from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Venezuela to Mexico.

Democratic President Joe Biden had sought to end the measure, enacted under Republican President Donald Trump to justify deporting asylum-seekers in an effort to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. But a group of Republican state attorneys general sued, arguing that lifting the policy would increase border-crossings and strain state resources.

Migrants-rights groups said throwing up roadblocks for asylum seekers only makes their travel more dangerous.

Fernando Garcia is the executive director of Border Network for Human Rights.

“We’re talking about people who come here as refugees, to ask for asylum, and who keep on crossing the border in dangerous ways. They cross highways with vehicles speeding past in which migrants have died before. This adds to a humanitarian crisis."

On Tuesday, in a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court ordered Title 42 remain in place for now. The court said it would hear arguments on whether the states could intervene to defend Title 42 in its February session, and will likely issue a decision on the policy in June.