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Photos: Migrants Brace for the End of Title 42

On Thursday, a pandemic-era federal order allowing the U.S. to quickly expel large numbers of migrants at the southern border will come to an end. Officials and local communities are already bracing for a significant increase in the number of migrants crossing the border.

Since it began under the Trump Administration three years ago, Title 42 has been used more than 2.8 million times to expel migrants without giving them a chance to file asylum claims in the name of mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Most of those expelled are from Mexico and Central America; many are fleeing violence and extreme poverty. Immigration advocates have criticized the policy for infringing on asylum seekers’ rights to access legal pathways to entry.

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The program’s expiration has already been delayed multiple times after Republican officials have sued to keep it in place. Three Republican-governed states—Missouri, Arizona and Louisiana— sued last month to preserve Title 42 restrictions, claiming that doing so would lead to an “unprecedented crisis” at the border.

But if that suit doesn’t halt the expiry, the Biden Administration is preparing for an influx of migrants, planning to open about 100 centers to help direct migrants to legal pathways to enter the U.S., expand border cities’ capacity to detain migrants, and deploy additional troops to support border patrol.

Pulitzer-prize winning photographer John Moore has covered the Southern border and immigration for many years. Below are photos he took along the border in El Paso, Texas on May 8 and 9, days before the end of Title 42.

Immigrant families cross into the United States from Mexico to seek asylum in El Paso, Texas, on May 8, 2023.
John Moore—Getty ImagesImmigrant families cross into the United States from Mexico to seek asylum in El Paso, Texas, on May 8, 2023.
As seen from an aerial view, Texas National Guard troops set up a âchoke pointâ near hundreds of immigrants who had crossed into the United States from Mexico
John Moore—Getty ImagesAs seen from an aerial view, Texas National Guard troops set up a “choke point” near hundreds of immigrants who had crossed into the United States from Mexico on May 9, 2023.
Immigrants seeking asylum in the United States wait to be processed by U.S. border agents after crossing over from Mexico into El Paso, Texas, on May 9, 2023.
John Moore—Getty ImagesImmigrants seeking asylum in the United States wait to be processed by U.S. border agents after crossing over from Mexico into El Paso, Texas, on May 9, 2023.
Texas National Guard troops set up razor wire near hundreds of immigrants who had crossed into the United States from Mexico
John Moore—Getty ImagesTexas National Guard troops set up razor wire near hundreds of immigrants who had crossed into the United States from Mexico on May 9, 2023.
Immigrants pray while hoping to be processed by U.S. border agents for asylum after crossing over from Mexico into El Paso, Texas, on May 9, 2023.
John Moore—Getty ImagesImmigrants pray while hoping to be processed by U.S. border agents for asylum after crossing over from Mexico into El Paso, Texas, on May 9, 2023.
Immigrants speak with Texas National Guard troops after crossing over from Mexico into El Paso
John Moore—Getty ImagesImmigrants speak with Texas National Guard troops after crossing over from Mexico into El Paso, Texas, on May 9, 2023.
Immigrants cross from Mexico into the United States to seek asylum on May 8, 2023.
John Moore—Getty ImagesImmigrants cross from Mexico into the United States to seek asylum on May 8, 2023.
seen from an aerial view, immigrants wait to be processed to make asylum claims after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico into El Paso, Texas
John Moore—Getty ImagesAs seen from an aerial view, immigrants wait to be processed to make asylum claims after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico into El Paso, Texas, on May 9, 2023.
An immigrant hydrates after crossing into the United States from Mexico on May 9, 2023.
John Moore—Getty ImagesAn immigrant hydrates after crossing into the United States from Mexico on May 9, 2023.
Immigrants seeking asylum in the United States wait to be processed by U.S. border agents after crossing over from Mexico into El Paso, Texas, on May 9, 2023.
John Moore—Getty ImagesImmigrants seeking asylum in the United States wait to be processed by U.S. border agents after crossing over from Mexico into El Paso, Texas, on May 9, 2023.

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