Thousands of others were repatriated to more than 10 countries, including Colombia, Honduras and Peru. Representational image. batuhan toker/Getty Images

Since the disputed border regulation known as Title 42 expired late last week, the U.S. has returned about 2,400 migrants, including Cubans, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans, back to Mexico, a U.S official has stated.

Late on Thursday, Title 42 was repealed, ending the ability of U.S. authorities to swiftly deport anyone who crossed the southern border of the nation under the guise of defending public health.

This change was timed to coincide with a new rule that limits the availability of asylum at the border.

2,400 people have been sent back to Mexico after Title 42 expired, according to Blas Nunez-Neto, assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), who made the announcement on Monday.

Numerous nations, notably Colombia, Honduras, and Peru, received thousands of other repatriates.

"And in recent days, we have seen Mexico and Guatemala deploying large numbers of law enforcement and military personnel to their southern borders," Nunez-Neto said.

He added that Panama and Colombia were also "undertaking an unprecedented joint effort to attack smuggling networks operating in the area."

Nunez-Neto said there had been no reports of an increase in border crossings as of yet, contrary to what U.S. President Joe Biden's administration had thought would happen after Title 42's expiration, Al Jazeera reported.

Crossings reached a record high of nearly 10,000 per day in the days prior to the policy's expiration, but once Title 42 expired, he claimed, that figure has stayed around 5,000.

"We recognise that there is a historic number of people displaced in our hemisphere, and we believe it is too soon to draw firm conclusions," Nunez-Neto said.

"Although of course the decreased level of encounters at the border we hope reflects both an appreciation of the new consequences of unlawful entry at the border, as well as the enforcement actions being taken by our foreign partners."

According to the new asylum rule, individuals who did not first ask for protection in the nations they passed through earlier in their journeys or who do not first apply and schedule an appointment via the CBP One immigration app are ineligible to seek refuge in the U.S.

Although the revised plan contains various exemptions and avenues for appeal, rights organizations have said that it essentially amounts to an "asylum ban."

Nunez-Neto said on Monday that people crossing the border irregularly "now face tougher consequences at the border, including a minimum five-year bar on re-entry and the potential to be criminally prosecuted if they try again."

The Biden administration declared in January that it will deport up to 30,000 migrants and refugees from Nicaragua, Haiti, Cuba, and Venezuela back to Mexico each month if they try to enter the border without authorization.

This policy followed that announcement.

Rights organizations criticized the law, pointing out that in the border cities of Mexico, asylum seekers confront several risks in addition to prejudice.

Washington responded by announcing that it would permit up to 30,000 citizens of those four nations to enter the U.S. lawfully each month, providing they applied in advance and met certain requirements, such as having a sponsor and not entering the country illegally.

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