Unprecedented numbers of immigrants continue to arrive at the U.S.–Mexico border, hoping to gain a foothold on American soil and a share of the American dream. But this swell in immigration is not limited to the southern border.
The number of migrants has increased throughout the country, most notably in Florida, which has historically been a home and haven for migrants. Despite not sharing a land border with Mexico, the Sunshine State’s net immigration growth was the highest in the nation in 2020.
And now, with a controversial federal policy, Title 42, set to expire, immigration numbers in Florida and around the country will undoubtedly skyrocket.
Title 42 Explained
Title 42 refers to a Trump-administration policy that changed the way migrants were processed when caught with invalid immigration paperwork or without any at all. Essentially, the policy made it easier to expel someone from the country by allowing authorities to deport people to Mexico or their home countries.
In all actuality, Title 42 is a part of the United States Code that deals with public health and social welfare. It contains a clause that allows the government to take emergency action to prevent the spread of diseases.
The Trump administration applied Title 42 to undocumented migrants during COVID-19, but while a federal judge said it must end on December 21, 2022- the Supreme Court has temporarily halted the expiration of Title 42 requiring the Biden Administration to respond to the temporary stay by Tuesday.
Before Title 42, individuals detained by the Border Patrol were either deported, taken into custody, or released in the U.S., which is a more favorable policy for immigrants and explains much of why immigration may skyrocket if Title 42 ends.
Current State of Affairs
The border regions with Mexico are experiencing far more immigrants than they can handle. As Title 42 may be winding down, tens of thousands of hopeful individuals and families make their way to the border, which has overwhelmed Mexican service and government agencies.
On December 9th, El Paso had more than 1,500 migrants cross into its jurisdiction, which was likely the largest mass crossing of the Rio Grande in recent memory. And currently, the Border Patrol is releasing the same number of migrants into the city.
On the other side of the border, tens of thousands more are camped out along the river, waiting to make their move into the U.S.
Title 42 and Florida Immigration
The country’s border regions get most of the media coverage dealing with the sharp rise in immigrants to this country. However, almost every state is experiencing a sharp increase in its immigrant population.
As mentioned, Florida immigration is the fastest growing in the nation, beating out Texas, California, and other border states. According to some figures, one in every five Florida residents is an immigrant or has immigrant parents. Because of this high representation, Title 42 news is deeply relevant and impactful for much of the state.
Florida is home to immigrants and migrants from dozens of countries, including Turkey, Germany, South Korea, Venezuela, and Guyana. But the countries with the highest immigrant representation in Florida are Cuba and Haiti, which is not surprising given how close these two countries are to Florida.
If the government’s current Title 42 policies expire, migrants no longer have to face summary deportations and other frightful consequences, such as separation of families and erroneous deportations. Hence, the number of individuals arriving by sea and land will likely increase.
The immigration process is daunting, and high stakes are always involved. Whenever possible, individuals with challenging immigration situations should seek the help of an immigration attorney. Those with a lawyer advocating for them typically have better results with their case than those who do not retain an attorney.
Immigration Attorneys Can Help
If you have questions about immigration, turn to Shannon Rosales Law, P.A. Our immigration lawyer serves clients throughout southern Florida. Call today to learn more or to schedule a case evaluation.