Following the end of Title 42 and the implementation of new restrictions, a working group of U.S., Mexican, and international NGOs that provide humanitarian and legal support to asylum seekers and migrants in the border region conducted targeted in-person monitoring at ports of entry to understand the impact of these policy shifts on access to asylum. Between May 11 and June 12, 2023, observations took place at six ports of entry in California (San Ysidro and Otay Mesa), Arizona (Dennis DeConcini), and Texas (Bridge of the Americas, Paso Del Norte and Ysleta) that adjoin the Mexican cities of Tijuana, Nogales, and Ciudad Juárez.
The monitors’ key findings include practices by U.S. and Mexican authorities that restricted asylum seekers without CBP One appointments from physically reaching ports of entry; limited processing or metering of asylum seekers without CBP One appointments; and a lack of adequate and accurate information for asylum seekers.
The working group urges the U.S. government to: fully restore access to asylum; surge agency staff (not troops) and other resources to ports of entry, as needed; and rescind the asylum ban that counterproductively punishes asylum seekers who line up to request protection at official border crossing points merely because they have not been able to preschedule one of the limited CBP One appointments. These and other recommendations are key to establishing a safe, humane, and orderly process at ports of entry.