Title 42 Stay Has Left Border Nonprofits In Limbo

As the White House continues to prepare for the end of Title 42, nonprofits helping migrants at the border are in a limbo period.
Posted at 7:39 PM, Dec 20, 2022

Tucked away in Tucson, Arizona, migrants seeking guidance can find a warm welcome.

The number of migrants arriving varies by day, with people coming from around the world. Newsy spoke to many migrants who traveled from Cuba and Peru.

Diego Piña Lopez is with Casa Alitas, a nonprofit that works with migrants.

"We start expecting people coming at any hour during the day," Lopez said.

Lopez says there has been a growing demand since the pandemic, adding that over the last few months, they have beefed up staff and outreach as they braced for an influx in migrants seeking assistance.

They have been preparing for the expiration of Title 42, which was temporarily paused by the U.S. Supreme Court less than 72 hours before it was set to be lifted Wednesday. The Trump-era policy has allowed the U.S. to expel more than 2.5 million migrants who were trying to cross the border since it went into effect in March of 2020. Its lifting is expected to lead to an influx at the border, especially in states like Arizona.

"Now it's very, very few of those people that really need to come for asylum having that opportunity to come," Lopez said.

U.S. Plans For More Migrant Releases When Title 42 Asylum Limits End

U.S. Plans For More Migrant Releases When Title 42 Asylum Limits End

A Texas congressman says some border officials estimate about 50,000 migrants could be waiting to cross into the U.S. when restrictions are lifted.


Lopez says the latest ruling by the high court only added to the confusion, leaving nonprofits in limbo. He says migrants who heard the pandemic-era policy was set to expire likely started their journey to the U.S. and may now be forced to wait in Mexico, putting them in danger.

"Kidnapping, no shelter, nowhere to eat, no food, no clothes, clean clothes, and far, far worse situations that come through," Lopez said.

Some migrants there met the exception of Title 42.

"Make sure that they're provided food, clothing, a shelter, a safe space, a place to laugh, space to cry, and to just feel human and have a choice again," Lopez said.

While some nonprofits say they're ready, state government officials disagree.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Arizona Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly oppose lifting Title 42, saying there needs to be a proper plan in place first. Sen. Kelly along with a group of Senate colleagues recently wrote to the Department of Homeland Security detailing concerns with the Biden Administration's current preparations for the end of Title 42.

In the meantime, Casa Alitas says they'll continue working to keep migrants informed and help them reach their destinations.