Migration numbers plummeted at the U.S.-Mexico border after May 11, when Title 42 ended. Don’t expect them to stay low, I wrote in a piece published at MSNBC’s website.
Essentially, migrants — and the network of smugglers along the route between countries of origin and the United States — are in “wait and see” mode. They are uncertain about what President Joe Biden’s administration’s tough-sounding new policies will mean for them. A new rule, called the “transit ban,” is making it much harder for people to apply for asylum simply by turning themselves in to U.S. agents. (This new rule is already being challenged in court on the grounds that it is illegal.)
The new border rules are strict and complicated. How much harder it will be to apply for asylum and what happens to people after they’re rejected remain very unclear. It’s not surprising that migrants who’ve reached Mexico are pausing before taking a leap into the unknown.