As the Title 42 policy expires on Thursday, the US is faced with the challenge of fixing its "broken immigration system" amid an expected surge of migrants on its border with Mexico.
"We clearly have a broken immigration system," said Lydia Guzman, the National Immigration chairperson for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).
Guzman told Anadolu that LULAC, the US' largest Hispanic organization, is concerned about the ability of US border communities to handle the immigration surge and believes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) infrastructure is not ready for this humanitarian crisis.
"We all know the situation along the border will get worse," she said.
Leading up to the expiration of Title 42 on May 11, the DHS announced the distribution of $363 million to help with shelter and migrant services at the southern border as part of Congress' $800 million package through the Emergency Food and Shelter Program. However, Guzman said the federal government needs to allocate funding appropriately so this crisis does not get even more out of hand.
"Provide more funding to border communities (shelters, churches, local governments) to better prepare for the influx rather than sending national guard troops," said Guzman. "Properly fund DHS agencies that perform intake duties and adjudication of the asylum cases."
Back in January, President Joe Biden announced a new immigration policy that would allow 30,000 migrants per month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela to be able to enter the US legally through a work authorization program that requires a US-based sponsor. Guzman said the number of countries listed for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in policies like that one is way too narrow.
"Expand the list of countries with TPS to include those from which the asylees are fleeing from," said Guzman. "Provide funding to Mexico, as they are partners in this, so that they can assist with humanitarian needs and set up processing centers like Colombia and Guatemala now have."