Migrant families at Mexico shelter wait in limbo for end of Title 42

No surge in asylum-seekers seen in Nogales
Families will have to stay in Nogales over Christmas instead of seeking asylum in the U.S. after the Supreme Court delays the end of Title 42.
Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 6:19 PM MST
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NOGALES, MEXICO (3TV/CBS 5) — It is the tiny legs and small feet that stand out. Looking at the bottom of the Christmas tree in the corner of the Kino Border Initiative (KBI) shelter in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, you can see the legs of children hanging from the bench seats at the lunch tables. These children will be spending Christmas away from home in this shelter. “The idea that the end of Title 42 was on the horizon was a huge hope. They were very hopeful and now that hope has been dashed,” said Gia Del Pino, communications director for KBI.

She is referring to the immigration restriction put in place during the Trump Administration. It temporarily halted the process of applying for asylum for many migrants. The measure was scheduled to end on Dec. 21, but now it may continue beyond Christmas. The final say is in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court. “This season really brings up a lot of emotions because people want to be reunited with their families to celebrate,” Del Pino said.

According to Del Pino, the shelter is serving about the same number of migrants as it did one year ago. That might mean that Nogales has not seen a similar “rush” toward the border that other areas have experienced. El Paso is one city where hundreds of migrants were seen in recent days, lining up along the border.

Antonio Martinez says he’s been waiting at the KBI shelter for three months for his opportunity to apply for asylum in the U.S. Martinez is from the Mexican state of Michoacan, which has been wracked by violence. Del Pino says most of the people staying at the shelter are in similar situations. “They can’t go back to their places of origin due to the reasons that they fled, mostly violence and they can’t move forward because of the policy,” Del Pino said.