Breaking Down with Local Immigration attorney what Title 8 means for migrants

Posted at 11:32 AM, May 16, 2023

BOISE, Idaho — The Trump-Era border immigration policy, Title 42, came to an end last Thursday night by the Biden Administration.

Our nation has now reverted back to the pre-pandemic immigration law known as Title 8, a decades-old Immigration Legislation that will now be what many migrants surging the southern borders will face.

"People who arrive in our southern border will be subjected to immigration enforcement authority under Title 8 of our United States Code," said Alejandro Mayorkas, Homeland Security Secretary.

RELATED | Following the expiration of Title 42 Local Treasure Valley man shares his story as a migrant

"Under the Immigration Law Title 8, every person, and any person, has the right to apply for asylum and have the right to come to the border without documents and make that application," said Maria Andrade, Executive Director for Immigration Justice Idaho.

Title 8 typically works like this---migrants who arrive at the border for the first time, claiming a fear of returning to their home country - will be given a credible fear interview.

From there, they could move on to what they call removal proceedings at immigration court, where they'll have to prove why it's unsafe for them to return to their own country.

But some migrants face a challenge that can lead to an immediate denial of asylum.

"Some individuals will be categorically denied and not even be able to state their case because they were unable to use the CBP 1 customs and borders application on a smartphone," said Andrade.

The Biden Administration brought the app together earlier this year to assist in preventing unlawful border crossings. The app allows migrants to set up an appointment at international bridges in AZ, TX and CA to determine if asylum is permitted.

Migrants must also seek asylum in the counties they are passing through to get to the United States. Failure could lead to asylum denial in the United States.

"The only thing they are trying to do is find a better way for their families," said Humberto Fuentes, President of the Commission on Hispanic Affairs. "For them to risk their lives coming in and traveling on foot for miles and miles and to be just treated as criminals as they come to the border."

Title 8 outlines strict penalties that can ban a migrant from re-entry for at least five years and, if not followed, potentially face criminal prosecution.

Under Title 42, if a migrant was denied entry, they were eligible to apply for re-entry over and over again without repercussions.

According to DHS, there were 6,300 migrant encounters at the border on Friday and another 4,300 on Saturday. That's about a 50% drop from border crossing before Title 42 expired.