USA: National Guard turn away hundreds of migrants in El Paso as ‘Title 42’ remains in place

Dozens of Texas National Guard members were seen turning back an influx of migrants at the US-Mexico border in El Paso on Wednesday after the Supreme Court moved to block President Joe Biden’s administration from lifting COVID-era border restrictions.

Crowds of migrants, including women and children, were seen along the banks of the Rio Grande river but were prevented from crossing the border by a razor-wire fence.

Oscar Leeser, the Mayor of El Paso, declared a state of emergency in the city after a number of migrants congregated on the streets with their belongings, ahead of the expiration of the ‘Title 42′ US border restrictions.

The restrictions were meant to end on Wednesday, December 21, and allowed people to be turned away on public health grounds.

Chief Justice of the court John Roberts moved to block Washington from ending the policy, at the request of 19 Republican states. He also said the decision was temporary and called on the White House to respond to the states’ concerns.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that the administration’s stance on lifting ‘Title 42’ “does not mean the border is open”.

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