Migrants in El Paso face uncertainty after Supreme Court left Title 42 in effect amid legal challenges

The future of migrants waiting in El Paso, Texas, after crossing the US-Mexico border remains uncertain following Wednesday’s Supreme Court decision allowing federal officials to continue expelling migrants who have received an asylum hearing.

“We expected something else,” said Rosanni Rodríguez, a Venezuelan migrant, when she was told of the court decision.

Rodriguez huddled with her two children on a cold El Paso sidewalk Tuesday, wearing a jacket provided by a local church. She and her children have already tried to cross into the United States once, but were sent back to Mexico, where they were robbed and detained by immigration officials while they slept on the ground in a city plaza, she said.

Rodríguez is among the tens of thousands of migrants who have arrived at the southern border despite the uncertain future of Title 42, a Trump-era policy that allows US authorities to quickly return most migrants to the other side of the border.

The controversial order was scheduled to end on December 21 but remains in legal limbo after the Supreme Court issued an order on Wednesday allowing the policy to remain in effect while legal challenges unfold, a process that could drag on for at least several months.

“They are not going to give us the opportunity to cross legally,” Rodríguez said. “That’s what we wanted, to be able to cross legally, but you can’t.”