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U.S. launches online asylum application system



President Joe Biden's administration on Thursday launched an online appointment system for migrants seeking an exception to asylum limits imposed during the pandemic, the latest move by the U.S. government in the last eight days to reform border enforcement.


Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began allowing migrants to make appointments up to two weeks in advance via its website and through CBPOne, a mobile app the agency has used on a limited basis since 2020.


CBPOne is to replace a series of unclear and heterogeneous exemptions to the public health order known as Title 42, under which the federal government has denied migrants their right enshrined in international and domestic law to seek asylum since March 2020.


So far, CPB has arranged the exceptions through activists, churches, lawyers and migrant shelters, without publicly identifying them or saying how many places were available. The activists have chosen who enters the country and CBP makes the final decision.


Under the new system, migrants apply directly to the agency. Appointments will be made at one of eight crossings: Brownsville, El Paso, Hidalgo and Laredo, in Texas; Nogales, Arizona; and Calexico and San Diego, in California.

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