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Bay Area nonprofits expecting migrant influx as Title 42 set to expire

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

With a potential surge of immigrants crossing the border as Title 42 is set to end, some Bay Area nonprofits are expecting an influx of families.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- With a potential surge of immigrants crossing the border as the pandemic-era Title 42 order is set to end Thursday, some Bay Area nonprofits are expecting an influx of families.

Amigos de Guadalupe Center for Justice and Empowerment is located in East San Jose. They help connect people with immigration resources, interim housing, education, and more.

Jeremy Barousse, the director of policy and organizing for the group, has been working in the immigrant rights field for nearly 10 years.

"Title 42 really created a crisis at the border where you have families escaping devastation in their home countries sitting at the Mexican border with nowhere to go," Barousse said.

Barousse said the end to the immigration policy could result in 25,000 immigrants crossing the border daily.

At Amigos de Guadalupe, they help one to two immigrant families a day with food, clothing, and temporary housing resources.

"But when you look at a week we're looking at probably 10 to 15 families a week, we could see that multiply, double after Title 42 is lifted," Barousse said.

He said Title 42 only created a backlog at the border and that just exacerbated our immigration system.

"We have been processing asylum cases and we are getting cases that are not even on the court docket until 2024 so if we're seeing those asylum cases being backlogged to 2024 we can only imagine that those asylum cases will be backlogged even further," Barousse said.

On Thursday, Amigos de Guadalupe and the Rapid Response Network in Santa Clara County will be rolling out a hotline to streamline help.

"We're kind of just pivoting and repurposing their hotline to be able to support immigrant families," Barousse said. "Newly arrived immigrant families to be able to call the number and we can support them have them come into our office."

The organization is currently having discussions with the city of San Jose and Santa Clara County on how to create a robust network of support for immigrant families.

"We really don't turn any families away- we want to be able to support families when they arrive in this new country," Barousse said.

When Title 42 was put in place in 2020, Dr. Belinda Hernandez Arriaga, founder of the organization ALAS and current faculty for USF, visited the border in South Texas with members from Bay Area Border Relief.

"What's really important with this dialogue is that these families are fleeing significant violence, significant life and death situations, and I don't think we talk about this enough," Hernandez Arriaga said.

At the time there weren't large enough shelters in Mexico to help so she saw the development of tent camps.

"You look into the children's eyes and you see the parents and the love they have for them to make a change, is when you really understand that this is a human rights crisis," Hernandez Arriaga said.

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