Houston groups prepare for influx of asylum seekers as the end of Title 42 looms

Some Houston-area groups are preparing for an influx of asylum seekers as the rule expires Thursday.

HOUSTON — Time is running out near the end of Title 42. For the past three years, that COVID-19 restriction has allowed border agents to quickly deport migrants from the United States without the ability to claim asylum.

Some Houston-area groups are preparing for an influx of asylum seekers as the rule expires Thursday.

Whether it’s welcoming Haitian migrants, helping resettle refugees from Afghanistan, or giving South American asylum-seekers a place to rest up before their final stop, Houston is at the heart of what’s happening at the nation’s borders.

With Title 42 just days away, FIEL Executive Director Cesar Espinosa said his immigrant rights group is preparing to offer legal assistance to migrants arriving in Houston.

“Once they get here, they will need legal advice, legal expertise to be able to handle their immigration cases and that could take months, years, so we are preparing to fill that gap,” he said.

FIEL is also trying to debunk myths and manage expectations of winning asylum cases in Houston.

“Out of 100 people, fewer than 3 will be approved and will be able to seek residency or refuge in the United States permanently,” Espinosa said.

LULAC officials in Houston and throughout Texas told KHOU 11’s Adam Bennett that they will be watching the immigration process to make sure it is done humanely and fairly.

“If there is something we consider an injustice, of course we will defend it on behalf of all immigrants,” said Dr. Sergio Lira of LULAC.

Pastor Jose Ortega said his group, the National Association of Christian Churches, is working with El Paso, where the mayor recently declared a state of emergency in anticipation of ending Title 42.

Gov. Greg Abbott and other state leaders are expected to hold a press conference in Austin on Monday on their response to the border.

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