If there is one thing that migrants attempting to cross the southern border of the United States have learned, it is that organization and communication are critical.

After all, one false step can mean many obstacles and even deportation.

Hence, migrants waiting to cross the border have developed a new communication mechanism: whispers.


The Title 42 border policy has officially ended, leaving many migrants in limbo. CBS News’ Camilo Montoya-Galvez has the latest from the U.S.- Mexico border. #migration #news #title42

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A change in the rules of the game

After years stuck on the Mexican side of the border, thousands of migrants were waiting for a change in the game’s rules.

Whispers among the migrants assured that the expiration of an immigration statute could determine their future.

Until now, Title 42 allowed the government to ban the entry of people or products from countries if there is a “grave danger” that they could spread a contagious disease.

The Trump Administration put in place the order in 2020 to remove undocumented migrants without adhering to asylum processing requirements.

However, deported migrants did not incur criminal or immigration consequences. This meant that those removed could attempt repeated border crossings.

But last Friday, Title 42 came to an end, automatically triggering Title 8. From this point forward, deported immigrants are barred from entering the United States for at least five years. If they re-enter without documents, they could face charges and jail time.

The power of the whisper

Once it became known that Title 42 was ending last Friday, a chain of rumors immediately set in motion among migrants settled at the border, according to NBC News. The message was clear: cross before the order came to an end.

As Homeland Security officials told NBC News, they detained about 11,000 undocumented immigrants each day on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday, they detained 10,000.

But once the health security order ended, only 6,000 migrants tried to cross on Friday.

As migrants told the media, rumors claimed that the best chance to try to come to the United States was about to expire.

“There was a lot of talk that after the end of Title 42, it was going to be very difficult to come into the United States,” Rosa, a Venezuelan immigrant, told NBC News.

“In Juarez, there were a lot of murmurs that we would get deported after May 11,” said Elienny, another migrant.

Rosa, Elienny, and many others heard that if they turned themselves in to immigration officials, they could receive legal authorization to enter the United States. With their families, they now await a decision on their asylum application in Texas.

Rosa, from Venezuela, undertook this journey with her husband and three children, all under ten years old.

Other migrants decided to turn back and return home.

However, none of them had any verified information at hand.


With Title 42 ending, a couple hoping to gain asylum in the U.S. recounted their treacherous journey from Haiti while waiting in a shelter in Tijuana, Mexico. #Title42 #immigration #BidenAdministration #border #news #abc7la #abc7eyewitness #usmexicoborder #bordercontrol #asylum #Tijuana

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Rumors or disinformation?

As is often the case when there is no access to verified information, many of the decisions made by migrants stuck at the U.S.-Mexico border come from rumors.

Between dinner tables, information about Title 42 passed by word of mouth in a whisper that convinced many to make an impulsive decision.

To avoid this, immigration authorities handed out flyers in areas where migrants were camped, urging them to turn themselves in for processing last week.

But what seems endemic in the area is misinformation.

“While rumors and word-of-mouth can be informative, it’s imperative to consult trained migrant assistance personnel, field activists, and the Immigration Service website to cross-reference information with credible sources,” immigration lawyer Martin Rosenow told mitú.

After all, it is easier to undertake the odyssey of crossing borders for a better future than it is to get accurate information. This is the migrant’s greatest enemy.