It allowed summary expulsions without a hearing or due process. It drastically reduced the number of asylum requests, as migrants did not have the opportunity to apply.
Migrants or asylum-seekers? According to UNHCR, seeking asylum is a fundamental human right, so denying the right to seek asylum is a violation of human rights. How is this possible in a country with the rule of law and is condoned by the Courts?
The thing about the current crisis on the border is that the vast majority of the asylum seekers (technically a refugee) are seeking asylum for economic reasons, which is not one of the five grounds for asylum. They are: race, religion, nationality, social (persecution for sexual orientation, etc.), and political persecution. If you are seeking to improve your life, get a better job, or for other economic reasons, you are a migrant, not a refugee/asylum seeker. There is no such thing as an economic refugee per the Geneva Convention. Then there is the first safe country rule which states that they person should seek asylum in the first safe country they arrive in. This is is a "grey" rule and not specifically laid out in the Geneva Convention (at least that I know of) and has been interpreted several different ways. One interpretation is that a country can remove an asylum seeker back to a country they passed through that is "safe", i.e the remain in Mexico policy. This varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction though.
The rub with the hundreds of thousands of asylum requests is it bogs down an already way over worked immigration system. The cartels and smuggling organizations are coaching migrants how to use this to their advantage as a smuggling technique. The asylum seekers get paroled into the US with an NTA (Notice to Appear) and EAD (Employment Authorization Document) and are told to report at a date and time way down the road, if they are even given a date when released (link below for wait times). A lot of times they are given the NTA and told to call the local immigration office for a hearing date when they arrive at their destination. Often times if an asylum request is denied (or any other immigration case for that matter), the judge grants "relief" from removal sue to the sheer amount of time the person has been in the US since they have basically created a new life here. Relief has several facets, but immigration judges have a lot of leeway in granting relief. Its sort of a catch 22, our immigration system is way over burdened which cause the reason to grant relief.
Outside of Title 42, if you arrested crossing into the US illegally, you have certain rights. You have the right to request and immigration hearing and the right to request asylum. As soon as you do either, you have to be placed into the immigration system to await your hearings. There are a few avenues to help like Expedited and Administrative Removals, but these don't come close to solving the problem, just alleviate some pressure. But even with those, the individuals still have to be given an asylum hearing if they ask for it. This is being used by the cartels and smugglers to their advantage since they know we have very strict rules about who we keep in detention and for how long. That's why so many people are being released.
Our immigration laws are not necessarily bad and don't necessarily need to be overhauled. The way we implement them (regulatory and policy can and often are more strict than the laws they are based on) and the administrative side of the immigration system (courts, etc.) is what is severally broken. The problem is that neither side wants to take any action. They both have their reasons, but they don't really want it solved. I know this is a very complex social issue for Americans to deal with, but neither Dems or the GOP are doing a damn thing to an honest conversation about it. Both sides lie and skew data and numbers for very political reasons. I guess that can be said for just about every issue facing America today though.
For clarification, the apprehension and arrest numbers from the Border Patrol are those people who entered the US illegally, between the Ports of Entry. Lots of those people then ask for asylum after being arrested for illegal entry. The vast majority of asylum requests are in this catagory, there are far fewer requests made when presenting at a Port of Entry with out the illegal entry. For the former, there are two issues. One, the asylum request needs to be adjudicated, two, the illegal entry needs to be adjudicated if the asylum was denied.
I have to make this disclaimer or risk this being deleted. Take what I said as factual or opinion, that is on you. I cant list my non public information sources, but I promise I know of what I speak, so I guess that makes this my opinion per board rules. Of course I don't know everything and still have a lot to learn, but I do know a thing or two about this topic.