Mexico Detains More than 16,000 Foreign Migrants in 4 Days, Some Republican States Want Trump Border Curbs

 Migrants from Venezuela walk in a caravan to the U.S.-Mexico border where hundreds of others are stranded following a deal to expel Venezuelan migrants crossing into the United States after the new U.S.-Mexico migrant policy, in Huixtla, Mexico October 15, 2022. REUTERS/Jose Torres
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MEXICO CITY, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Mexico detained more than 16,000 migrants in a four-day span, including nearly 5,000 Venezuelans, the country’s National Institute of Migration (INM) said Monday.

The INM said 16,096 migrants from 46 countries were detained in 22 Mexican states between Nov. 17 and 20.

The majority of the migrants were from Central and South American countries, including 4,968 Venezuelans, 2,987 Guatemalans, 1,385 Nicaraguans, 1,311 Hondurans and 1,285 Ecuadorians.

The government agency said it increased services via migrant attention centers in several states including Aguascalientes, Chiapas, Durango, Hidalgo, Puebla, San Luis Potosi, Veracruz and Zacatecas due to an influx of migrants and they dangers they face including traffickers and increasingly cold temperatures.

U.S. President Joe Biden has struggled with record numbers of migrant crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border during his presidency – including 187,000 Venezuelans just in fiscal year 2022.

U.S. authorities last month had announced a plan, agreed to with Mexico, to return some Venezuelan migrants who enter the U.S. illegally to Mexico. Earlier this month, however, a judge from the U.S. ruled unlawful the pandemic-era order known as Title 42, used to expel migrants to Mexico, complicating Biden’s strategy for deterring border crossings.

Since then, thousands of migrants have been found camping in poor conditions elsewhere in Mexico. In Oaxaca state, about 12,000 people, largely from Venezuela, were found sleeping on wooden crates, on sidewalks, and in residents’ houses and backyards.

Reporting by Dave Graham, Writing by Carolina Pulice Editing by Lincoln Feast.

Republican states seek to preserve Trump-era U.S. border curbs

U.S. President Trump campaigns with Republican Senator Loeffler ahead of Georgia U.S. Senate runoffs in Dalton
U.S. President Donald Trump gestures next to a U.S. flag while campaigning for Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler on the eve of the run-off election to decide both of Georgia’s Senate seats, in Dalton, Georgia, U.S., January 4, 2021. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

WASHINGTON, Nov 22 (Reuters) – A coalition of states with Republican attorneys general took legal steps on Monday to retain pandemic border curbs recently ruled unlawful by a U.S. judge, aiming to preserve a policy that lets the government expel hundreds of thousands of migrants.

Fifteen states asked U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan to let them join litigation over the policy, known as Title 42, which has been in effect since March 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

First implemented as a public health policy by the administration of former Republican President Donald Trump and continued by President Joe Biden, a Democrat, Title 42 allows U.S. authorities to rapidly send migrants caught at the U.S.-Mexico border back to Mexico, or other countries, without the chance to claim U.S. asylum.

Sullivan, in the District of Columbia, ruled on Nov. 15 that the order violated federal regulatory law and the government asked for five weeks to prepare to end it.

But now the states’ motion sets the stage for a protracted legal battle that throws the future of the policy in doubt.

A record number of migrants have been apprehended at the border since Biden took office in January 2021 and Republicans say ending Title 42 will draw even more crossers.

After Sullivan’s ruling, the Biden administration said it was making plans to manage the border without the order. The case was originally brought by asylum-seeking families against the U.S. government, claiming migrants sent back to Mexico face serious harm.

The states said in their motion to intervene in the case that border states like Arizona and Texas would face “increased migrant flows” and that wherever migrants end up, “they will impose financial burdens on the states involuntarily hosting them.”

If Sullivan allows the states to intervene in a case, they can challenge his decision to invalidate the policy at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The states could also take the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court, where there is a majority of conservative justices.

Reporting by Ted Hesson in Washington; additional reporting by Kristina Cooke in San Francisco. Editing by Mica Rosenberg and Rosalba O’Brien
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