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Officials from the Department of Health and Human Services, Customs and Border Control and Department of Homeland Security gave testimony on the Southern border on Thursday before the Senate Homeland Security committee.
Watch the hearing in the player above.
Last month, the Biden administration released a to deal with an expected increase in already high numbers of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border from the planned lifting of a public health order that prevents people from seeking asylum – and that Republican and some Democratic lawmakers insist should be kept in place.
The plan includes increasing the number of personnel in the border region from CBP and other federal agencies, expanding detention capacity with the use of temporary facilities and aggressively deploying a process known as expedited removal to deport migrants who do not qualify for asylum or some other relief under U.S. law.
It also relies on new DHS initiatives intended to streamline the evaluation of migrant claims, such as the deployment of asylum officers to the border to help determine whether someone should be granted temporary legal residency until an immigration court rules on their case.
Unmentioned is the fact that a court could soon order the government to reverse course and halt plans to lift Title 42 on May 23 because of lawsuits filed by Republican-led states.
Migrants have been expelled more than 1.8 million times under the rule, which was issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under former President Donald Trump.
Advocates for asylum-seekers support the end to the rule, which they say endangers people fleeing persecution back home and violates rights to seek protection under U.S. law and international treaty. The states challenging the administration say the U.S. is not ready for a likely influx of migrants resulting from the rule’s end, straining public services.
It comes amid what the administration concedes are historic numbers of migrants attempting to cross the border due to factors that include economic and political turmoil in Latin America, as well as a backlog of people hoping to seek asylum.
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