SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — More and more migrants have managed to overcome the first border barrier between San Diego and Tijuana and have joined others already waiting to get picked up by Border Patrol agents.
They are stranded in what’s known as the “enforcement zone” between the two border walls, surviving on the kindness of good Samaritans who hand out cookies, water and even aspirin and Pepto-Bismol.
Border Patrol agents have also been coming around twice a day to deliver water and granola bars.
But Pedro Rios, a migrant advocate, says that is not good enough.
“Technically, they are now in Border Patrol custody, and there are national standards that dictate how they are supposed to be received,” said Rios. “We’re not seeing that here. The Border Patrol has an obligation to provide shelter, food and water and keep people safe.”
According to Rios, the “suffering” will continue when Title 42 does go away.
“It’s really unclear what will happen to these folks and people who come here afterward,” Rios said. “What I do know is President Biden is putting in place measures that will block people from their legal right to seek asylum.”
The Department of Homeland Security is said to be unveiling what Rios and others are calling the “Biden ban,” which will return migrants to Mexico who have not asked for asylum in a third country before they got to Mexico.
“It’s not going to work because the expectation is that there are these other countries that could provide safety to migrants when people from those countries are migrating as well,” said Rios.
Rios was also critical of another element of the plan to open centers in other countries in the Western Hemisphere, where migrants could begin their asylum requests without having to traverse Mexico and other countries.
“What will be the accountability, what type of oversight will there be, where will the funding go? We have to wait and see whether those processing centers will be effective or not,” Rios said.
When Title 42 is eliminated, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will continue using Title 8 to expel migrants. The order says anyone caught entering the country illegally can be sent back without a valid reason to be in the United States.
“If someone gets caught when Title 42 ends, in this case, it would mean they are banned for five years from seeking asylum and that goes against the very basic premise of asylum, someone is seeking help,” said Rios.