Get ready for the chaos! Migrants have been gathering on the Mexican side of the border for weeks, waiting for the expiration of Title 42, which allowed them to be turned away based on COVID concerns. With the rule set to expire at midnight, states on or near the border are bracing for a human flood. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has ordered razor wire and hundreds of National Guard officers deployed along its 1,254-mile border with Mexico. Arizona, New Mexico, and California are also preparing for a surge.
Title 42 is set to expire at midnight, and border cities are declaring states of emergency. Beleaguered Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas issued a statement a minute before midnight insisting that illegal immigrants streaming in after the policy ended would be sent back. But to the hordes of migrants poised to overwhelm U.S. officials after the lifting of Title 42, the technicalities seem to be of little import.
All week, swarms of illegal immigrants have been seen crossing the Rio Grande into the U.S., a trend expected to accelerate beginning Friday. Border agents apprehended more than 11,000 people who crossed the border illegally on Tuesday, about double the amount seen in a typical day. After Title 42 lifts, U.S. officials are expecting up to 13,000 illegal immigrants to cross into the U.S. daily.
The ones who have already made it have stretched social services throughout the country, but especially in border communities such as El Paso, Texas, and Yuma, Arizona. While some surrender to authorities to begin the process of seeking asylum and then are turned over to shelters, many others have camped on sidewalks while they arrange transportation into the interior of the U.S.
But the situation is far from simple. A federal judge in Florida ruled that the U.S. government may no longer “parole” unprocessed illegal immigrants, which was being done as an alternative to sheltering them in detention facilities while overwhelmed Border Patrol officials filled out their paperwork. Customs and Border Protection is currently housing 28,000 illegal immigrants at its detention facilities, according to the head of the Border Patrol union.
Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls wrote President Joe Biden, calling on him to declare a national emergency to send more federal support to border communities like his. He said Border Patrol officials are turning loose hundreds of illegal immigrants, leaving them stranded in his city.
The situation is dire, and the costs of illegal activity are high. Many migrants fall victim to cartels, who traffic both drugs and humans across the border and into the U.S. in dangerous and often deadly manners. These activities are business operations to cartels, and lead to the exploitation, rape, abuse, and neglect of migrants. It’s time for action to be taken to address this crisis.
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