The people who come to the U.S.-Mexican border are fleeing for their lives.

By Miriam Davidson, The Progressive Magazine

The people who come to the U.S.-Mexican border requesting asylum (or at least temporary refuge until they can go home) are fleeing for their lives. Their family members have been killed. Their homes and businesses have been destroyed. They have received death threats. They have been attacked with bombs and machine guns.

Yet to hear immigration hardliners tell it, migrants and refugees are an “invading” force. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, running for the U.S. Senate, has issued a legal opinion claiming that the state is under “invasion” and is therefore permitted, under the Constitution, to “engage in war” against smugglers and cartels. In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott has enacted a series of anti-immigrant measures that include “increased military activity” on the border.

US mexico border wall

These politicians are also upset about President Joe Biden’s plan to end Title 42, the pandemic-era public-health rule that has allowed the government to expel migrants and refugees immediately, regardless of circumstances. Arizona, Louisiana and Missouri are suing to keep the administration from ending the program.

Title 42, Remain in Mexico, and other Trump-era policies have resulted in some 75,000 refugees from Central America, Cuba, Venezuela, Haiti and other places languishing in dangerous camps and shelters in Mexico for months or even years. Some have become victims of extortion, rape and murder. Human rights advocates are speaking out against these atrocities and calling for greater protections for migrants and refugees.

Title 42 is no longer required from a public health standpoint, if it ever was, and must end.

But should Biden end Title 42 by May 23 as promised, there’s concern about a renewed “flood” of migrants — another word that grossly mischaracterizes the situation.

For comparison, Poland, a country of about 38 million, has taken in more than two million Ukrainian refugees in the past six weeks. These refugees may not ever be able to go home again. Germany, with a population of 83 million, took in one million permanent refugees during the first few years of the Syrian civil war.

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