With Title 42 in place, migrants weigh hard choices

STORY: A U.S. Supreme Court decision this week leaving in place a contentious pandemic-era measure allowing for the rapid deportation of asylum-seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border has left migrants in already dire straits with a difficult decision:

Wait in places such as Ciudad Juarez in hopes the policy will be reversed, or risk crossing illegally.

Luz Mary Bastardo is a migrant from Venezuela.

"This feels like a bucket of cold water but we don’t know what to do now they we were told us Title 42 was been prolonged.”

Title 42 is the name of the measure enacted under Republican President Donald Trump to justify deporting asylum-seekers in an effort to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

Democratic President Joe Biden had sought to end the measure, but a group of Republican state attorneys general sued the administration, arguing that lifting the policy would increase border-crossings and strain state resources.

On Tuesday, in a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court ordered Title 42 remain in place for now.

Luiz Santeliz, from Venezuela, told Reuters he's desperate to enter the U.S., but doesn't want to risk deportation.

“I’m afraid to cross illegally because I’m afraid they’ll catch me and return me. I’ll appear on the system and won’t be able to enter the United States. I want to wait, I have faith and hope they’ll deliver news (on Title 42). I’ll wait, God’s time is perfect.”

Title 42 had been due to expire on December 21.

The high court will hear arguments in the case in February, and will likely issue a decision in June.