Refugees denounce Title 42 as a ‘ridiculous excuse’ as it remains in immigration news

Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico — “There are guns on every corner,” Evans Odmond said of his native Haiti.

Odmond, his wife and their 4-year-old son arrived in Mexico six months ago, hoping to claim Asylum in the United States. They are now trapped in a violent border city with no way back.

“I left Haiti because there was no life there. I just wanted a better life for me and my family,” he said.

This month, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said Violence in Haiti to an “unimaginable and unbearable degree”. At least 92 people unrelated to the gang were killed in coordinated attacks in Port-au-Prince between April 24 and May 16, according to the United Nations.Violence – including beheading, beheading and burning of bodies, as well as sexual assault – has forcing hordes of people leave.

“We just want to get into the U.S., that’s our only dream,” he said, referring to himself and other Haitians in Tijuana waiting for the border to open.

They must now continue to wait.

A federal judge blocked a Biden administration plan on Friday end heading 42an order cited by the former Trump administration, citing the COVID-19 pandemic deport asylum seekers come from America.Biden administration moved to end heading 42 On May 23, a judge’s order scrapped those plans.

Evens Odmond, his wife Edelie Elasme Arturo and their 4-year-old son Brayan wait in Tijuana for Title 42 to end so they can apply for asylum in the United States [Hillary Beaumont/Al Jazeera]

Asylum is a legal process under international law that allows people to present themselves on U.S. soil and declare that they are afraid to return to their country. But since March 2020, the United States has carried out nearly 2 million deportations of asylum seekers. The U.S. Immigration Council noted that U.S. borders are open to international travelers, with nearly 11 million people passing through ports of entry each month.

Odmond and his family have yet to apply for asylum and have no lawyers. “Let me see if they cancel Title 42, and then I will,” he said.

“My biggest fear is that if I try to get to the border right now, they will take me back to Haiti. But if they remove Article 42, it will be an opportunity for us because it will give us six to seven months time to go to court,” he explained.

Monday, Title 42 is set to end, Border Patrol agents walk along the brown wall on the Santiago side of the San Ysidro port of entry.Facing the media cameras lined up by the wall, Guerline Jozef, co-founder and executive director of the Haitianqiao Alliance, said 522 people were killed. deported to Haiti Weekends under Article 42.

She told Al Jazeera that Haitians were the target of violence when migrating “because they travel with black bodies”.She called it a “death sentence” Back to Haiti.

She said the upheaval dates back to the country’s colonial past, with Haitians having to pay France billions of dollars for their freedom.

In the 1970s and 1980s, a wave of refugees fled due to the country’s political unrest. A major earthquake in 2010 killed hundreds of thousands of people. In 2016, Hurricane Matthew ravaged southern Haiti, forcing internal and external migration.

A man pushes an ice cream truck along the border wall in Tijuana between Mexico and the United States.
A man pushes an ice cream cart by the border wall in Tijuana between Mexico and the U.S. [Hilary Beaumont/Al Jazeera]

No political decision now Haitian president assassinated She explained that Jovenel Moise and gang killings were taking over entire communities last year.

“The root causes of immigration are directly related to political instability, climate change and the fact that we are impoverished by world powers, including France and the United States,” Joseph said.

Tears welled in her eyes when she heard Odmond’s story. “I will tell the family that we are here for them and we will continue to fight for them,” she said.

The White House announced Friday that it would appeal the judge’s ruling.

According to Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, senior policy adviser at the American Immigration Council, to repeal Section 42, the government would need to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking, accept comments within 30 to 60 days, and consider all comments before issuing a final rule. The process will take at least six months to a year, he tweeted. After that, it will be challenged.

Monica Langarica of UCLA’s Center for Immigration Law and Policy told Al Jazeera that the judge’s order outlines how the government can eliminate Section 42’s inadequacies and echoes Reichlin-Melnick’s argument that officials may need to Try again in a few months. In the short term, the government could seek an emergency stay of the ban, while also appealing the order, she said. If approved, they can lift Article 42.

“Sadly, the only thing to tell people right now is that Article 42 still exists,” she said. “There is no systematically viable option for them to seek asylum. Now we will continue to push for an end to this, but I think it would be dishonest to provide a timetable or end this nightmare at this point.”

Patricia, a transgender asylum seeker, knelt on the grass during a vigil in Tijuana.
Patricia, a transgender asylum seeker, kneels on the grass during a vigil in Tijuana, Mexico, calling for an end to Article 42 [Hilary Beaumont/Al Jazeera]

Patricia, a transgender activist from Mexico who is reluctant to reveal her surname due to fears for her life, attended a protest and vigil in Tijuana, Mexico, on Sunday night. She was staying in a hotel there, waiting for the border to open.

Three months ago, she tried to apply for asylum, but was rejected. “The last time I tried to go alone, I was talking to an immigration officer from the United States,” she said on WhatsApp in Spanish. “He told me they were not accepting asylum claims from anyone because of the border closure.”

“Article 42 is a ridiculous excuse for America,” she said.

She works for a transgender rights group in Juarez, Mexico, but in May 2021 she said she had been threatened and blackmailed by an organised crime group. “[The group] A missing militant was killed in the area before and it was never found,” she said. “I lived in Tijuana for a year and was afraid they would find me and kill me. “

Patricia is now working with a lawyer on her asylum case. She applied for asylum in the U.S. four years ago but was denied; she said they did not believe she was transgender and said Mexico was safe for people like her.

Refugees and immigrants cross a bridge in Tijuana.
Refugees and migrants march on a bridge in Tijuana, Mexico to demand the right to seek asylum and end Article 42 [Hilary Beaumont/Al Jazeera]

“I feel powerless to achieve my dreams,” she said Friday after hearing that Article 42 would remain in place.

“I’ve been through a lot, and when I’m at the door, they’ll close. They don’t know what people in the LGBTQ community are going through, and it pisses me off.”

She wants a more free and discriminatory future. “I want a world without borders, where walls don’t stop us from achieving our dreams, and people respect us the same way they respect heterosexuals,” she said.

Odmond and his family were also afraid to wait in Tijuana due to kidnappings and violence.

“My biggest dream for my wife and son right now is to go to America and help my family in Haiti, my mom, my brother, my sister,” he said. “Haiti also has kidnappings. That’s why we left Haiti, and it’s the same in Mexico.”

San Ysidro Port of Entry in Tijuana
San Ysidro port of entry in Tijuana, Mexico is open to international travelers but remains closed to most asylum seekers [Hillary Beaumont/Al Jazeera]

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