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Pandemic-era Title 42 set to expire this week; what that could mean in Michigan

Posted at 11:16 PM, May 08, 2023

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Fears over a crisis at the southern border tied to the lifting of Title 42 are also having an impact in Michigan for humanitarian reasons and many others.

Title 42, which is set to expire Thursday, allowed the government to turn away some migrants because of public health concerns during the pandemic. Currently, more than 8,000 people cross the border daily, but that number could soon be more.

“We are a border town. People forget that sometimes,” Jane Garcia with Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development, Inc. (LA SED) said. “There’s a lot of people fearful of what’s going to happen and aren’t going to know how to react to it.”

She says Michigan’s border with Canada is also reflective of a path for some to travel from Central America and South America.

“They’re going to try and come in wherever they can and you have to remember there’s a lot of people in danger from different countries,” Garcia explained.

A professor of law who works in the immigration clinics at Wayne State University also weighed in.

“There’s an ongoing concern about family separation. There’s a lot of families that were separated under Title 42,” professor Sabrina Balgamwalla said.

The professor expects other states to pursue legal challenges as well.

In Southwest Detroit, social service agencies like LA SED are preparing to offer resources as needed.

“It’s a fearful time. A lot of people are going to say they are coming to take out jobs. Trust me, they’re not,” Garcia said.