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World: Slipping over Mexico border, migrants get the jump on U.S. court ruling

El Paso mayor declares 'state of emergency' as US-Mexico border crossings are expected to surge

  El Paso mayor declares 'state of emergency' as US-Mexico border crossings are expected to surge El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser declared a state of emergency, saying the migrant crisis in the border town was beginning to threaten the safety of residents.Mayor Oscar Leeser said he decided to finally make the declaration as the situation is beginning to threaten the safety of residents and migrants alike. He said 2,500 migrants are arriving in El Paso daily, and that those numbers are likely to multiply as Trump-era border legislation expires this week.

By Jose Luis Gonzalez and Daina Beth Solomon

FILE PHOTO: Migrants crossing into the United States from Mexico, in El Paso © Thomson Reuters FILE PHOTO: Migrants crossing into the United States from Mexico, in El Paso

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (Reuters) -Even before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday opted to keep in place a measure aimed at deterring border crossings, hundreds of migrants in northern Mexico were taking matters into their own hands to slip into the United States.

FILE PHOTO: Migrants crossing into the United States from Mexico, in El Paso © Thomson Reuters FILE PHOTO: Migrants crossing into the United States from Mexico, in El Paso

The contentious pandemic-era measure known as Title 42 had been due to expire on Dec. 21, but last-minute legal stays pitched border policy into limbo and made many migrants decide they had little to lose by crossing anyway.

Venezuelans try to rebuild after shattered U.S. migration dreams

  Venezuelans try to rebuild after shattered U.S. migration dreams By Keren Torres and Steven Grattan EL TOCUYO, Venezuela (Reuters) - Julio Perez, a 38-year-old auto mechanic, sold his car and tools to make the dangerous journey from Venezuela to the United States. But like many migrants in the two months since the United States changed its immigration policy, he opted to board a plane back to Venezuela. The United States on Oct. 12 expanded the existing Title 42 policy, used since the pandemic to send migrants from Central America and elsewhere back to Mexico and other countries without a chance to seek asylum, to include Venezuelans. © Thomson Reuters Back home, Venezuelan migrants' dreams shattered by new U.

After spending days in chilly border cities, groups of migrants from Venezuela and other countries targeted by Title 42 opted to make a run for it rather than sit out the uncertainty of the legal tug-of-war playing out in U.S. courts.

"We ran, and we hid, until we managed to make it," said Jhonatan, a Venezuelan migrant who scrambled across the border from the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez into El Paso, Texas with his wife and five children, aged 3 to 16, on Monday night.

FILE PHOTO: Migrants crossing into the United States from Mexico, in El Paso © Thomson Reuters FILE PHOTO: Migrants crossing into the United States from Mexico, in El Paso

Giving only his first name and speaking by phone, Jhonatan said he had already spent several months in Mexico and had not wanted to enter the United States illegally.

But the thought of failing after a journey that took his family through the perilous jungles of Darien in Panama, up Central America and into Mexico was more than he could bear.

Lithuania: The "anti-migrant" wall on the Bélarusse border is finished

 Lithuania: The in response to the influx of migrants from the Belarus, Lithuania, just like Poland, has started the construction of a wall along its frontier. Today it is built, the challenge is now to protect it from degradations. View Ononews © Evn The 679 kilometers long between Lithuania and Bélarus. In response to the influx of migrants from the Belarus, Lithuania, just like Poland, began the construction of a wall along its border.

"It would be the last straw to get here, and then they send us back to Venezuela," he told Reuters.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a request by a group of Republican state attorneys general to put on hold a judge's decision invalidating Title 42. They had argued its removal would increase border crossings.

The court said it would hear arguments on whether the states could intervene to defend Title 42 during its February session. A ruling is expected by the end of June.

Reuters images showed migrants racing across a busy highway alongside the border last week, one man barefoot and carrying a small child - the kind of risky crossing that alarms migrant advocates.

"We're talking about people who come to request asylum ... and they're still crossing the border in very dangerous ways," said Fernando Garcia, director of the Border Network for Human Rights.

John Martin, the deputy director at El Paso's Opportunity Center for the Homeless, said the number of migrants his shelter has taken in are increasingly people who crossed illegally, including many Venezuelans.

Frustration among migrants at U.S.-Mexico border as COVID restrictions remain

  Frustration among migrants at U.S.-Mexico border as COVID restrictions remain By Jose Luis Gonzalez and Ted Hesson CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico/WASHINGTON (Reuters) -When Vladimir Castellanos learned that COVID-19 restrictions blocking him and other migrants from claiming asylum at the U.S. border with Mexico may not be terminated this week, he said he felt deceived. Castellanos and his brother are Venezuelans, and they were among dozens of migrants gathered on both sides of the Rio Grande on Monday night in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas, with some lighting small fires to keep warm as temperatures dropped toward freezing.

"At one point, the majority were documented; now I'm seeing it reverse," he said.

The agency's El Paso sector was registering about 2,500 daily migrant encounters in mid-December, but the number dipped through Christmas to just over half that by the time of the court decision, CBP figures show.

On Tuesday before the Supreme Court ruling, a Venezuelan migrant in Ciudad Juarez who gave his name as Antonio said he was waiting to see whether U.S. border surveillance would let up, hoping to make money in the United States to send home.

"If they don't end Title 42," he said, "we're going to keep entering illegally."

Elsewhere along the border, other migrants said they felt they had run out of options.

"We don't have a future in Mexico," said Cesar, a Venezuelan migrant in Tijuana who did not give his last name, explaining why he has attempted once to cross the border fence to get into the United States, and plans to try again.

(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon in Mexico City and Jose Luis Gonzalez in Ciudad Juarez; Additional reporting by Lizbeth Diaz and Ted Hesson; Editing by Dave Graham and Gerry Doyle)

Trump claims U.S. border is 'getting worse' less than 48 hours before Title 42 is set to EXPIRE .
'Two years ago we had the strongest and safest Border in U.S. history. Hundreds of miles of Walls were built, my "Stay In Mexico" Policy was working fantastically,' the ex-president began.Title 42, which enables border agents to turn asylum-seekers away upon contact in the name of slowing the spread of COVID-19, was set to expire last week but was extended at the 11th hour by an administrative stay from Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts.

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