US Customs and Border Protection has once again expanded the number of migrants it allows into the US at the Mexico border via its CBP One mobile app. The federal agency said it will now allow 1,450 migrants to book appointments each day via the app, which allows migrants to register asylum claims and enter the country.
On May 12, the day Title 42 restrictions ended, CBP began processing 1,000 appointments per day. In June the number increased to 1,250.
The latest change means the number of migrants entering the U.S. each day via the process has increased by nearly 50%.
Those that show up at the border without having secured an appointment are subject to a ‘common-sense condition’ and will likely will be turned away
The Mail Online reports: Title 42 was a Covid-era policy introduced in 2020 by then-president Donald Trump which granted authorities the ability to turn asylum seekers away from the border on the grounds they could bring the disease into the county.
Between its expiry on May 12 and June 23, more than 49,000 migrants presented at Southwest border ports to claim asylum, according to CBP.
In addition to limiting the number of claims that can be made, the app allows CBP officers to receive advance information for screening and vetting and to determine admissibility on a case-by-case basis.
Demand for appointments is massively oversubscribed. On one day in May, The New York Times reported that around 62,000 migrants – mainly from Cuba, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico and Venezuela – were competing for the 1,000 appointments.
‘CBP is expanding the number of available appointments at ports of entry for the second time in less than two months, through scheduling enhancements and operational efficiencies,’ said acting CBP Commissioner Troy Miller in a statement.
‘By utilizing innovative technologies like CBP One, we are improving the delivery of our homeland security mission and providing for safe and efficient processes at ports of entry.’
Appointments are available at eight ports of entry: Brownsville, Paso Del Norte in El Paso, Eagle Pass, Hidalgo, and Laredo in Texas; Calexico and San Ysidro in California; and Nogales in Arizona.
The controversial app has caused upset among on both the left and the right.
Many migrants have complained the app is glitchy and hard to use, while others have claimed requiring an app to seek asylum is unfair because it requires ownership of a smartphone.
In theory it works by allowing migrants to request an appointment at any point during a 23-hour period each day. If successful they will have another 23 hours in which to accept the appointment.
CBP claims it allocated the ‘majority’ of those appointments randomly to those to have made requests, while the remainder are issued to those who have the oldest accounts and have been waiting the longest for appointments.
The Biden administration claims the app is an important step in streamlining border operations because it prevents migrants from claiming asylum if they crossed illegally, did not use the app, and failed to claim asylum in another country through which they previously traveled.
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