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    US Asylum Application Gives Migrants Hope, Says CBP

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    Many migrants are now using the CBP One app to request asylum in the United States instead of crossing illegally. The app is being used as COVID-era border restrictions give way to new asylum rules. Oriana Silva, a 30-year-old Venezuelan mother of two, is one of the migrants using the app after being expelled back to Mexico five times in seven months. Silva said that the app is much better and that they are already one step away.

    Previously, US officials could immediately expel migrants back to Mexico and block them from requesting asylum under the COVID-era order. The new rules now bar migrants from re-entering the country for five years if they are caught crossing illegally. Tens of thousands of people have scrambled to enter the United States in the past few days before Title 42 COVID policy expired. This has left US authorities overwhelmed, with 28,000 migrants being held by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), far beyond capacity and at apparent record levels.

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    However, in Ciudad Juarez, the scene is now one of relative calm. After months of struggling to house the constant arrivals of migrants, many shelters are now half empty. The Biden Administration has worked hard to get the message out that the ending of Title 42 does not mean the border is open and that migrants need to use the app instead of crossing illegally.

    It is unclear how widely the views of Silva and the other nine migrants Reuters talked to about the app are shared among those hoping to reach the United States. A spike in the number of migrants crossing the Darien gap linking Panama with Colombia in April and early May suggests many more people will be arriving at the border in the coming weeks and months. Juan Angel Pavon, another Venezuelan, has been trying to get a CBP One appointment for three months. In the meantime, smugglers told him they could quickly bring him and his two daughters into the United States, but he was determined to stick at it and not take the risk.

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