Tens of thousands of migrants await in Mexico with Title 42 set to expire at midnight. Gov. Abbott sends migrant buses to NYC and V.P. Harris’ home.
As of Wednesday morning, there were over 28,000 already in U.S. custody with reports of between 60,000-65,000, to over 155,000 migrants reportedly in Mexican sh
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With less than 12-hours until the end of Title 42, the Biden Administration and U.S. border officials could soon find themselves in uncharted territory with over 28,000 migrants in U.S. custody as of Wednesday morning, according to Brandon Judd, the head of the Border Patrol union, and differing reports suggesting anywhere from 60,000-65,000 to a whopping 155,000 migrants waiting in Mexican shelters for their chance to seek protection.
As a result of the expected influx, the U.S. sent over 1,400 Department of Homeland Security personnel and another 1,500 Department of Defense personnel to the border, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Wednesday.
Roughly 1,000 asylum officers were deployed to Border Patrol and immigration detention facilities to help screen asylum requests, Mayorkas said. U.S. Secret Service agents and U.S. marshals are also being deployed to help.
Ahead of the midnight expiration date, three Texas cities — Brownsville, Laredo and El Paso — declared a states of emergency as they continue to receive an influx of migrants crossing before Thursday night.
The Trump-era policy allowed border officials to reject migrants seeking asylum under health guidelines for three years.
Nearly 2.8 million rejections later, the end of Title 42 means, for the tens of thousands of migrants waiting in Mexico escaping poverty and political instability, a return to decades-old immigration protocol known as Title 8.
Under Title 8, most migrants can not be rejected protection or deported without a screening for asylum claims.
Its return could also be a savior for the thousands of migrants and families subject to sleeping out on Mexico’s streets due to overcrowded shelters, where they are often huge targets for physical abuse and exploitation.
However, as Mayorkas explained to reporters on Wednesday, Title 8 also means harsher penalties for migrants caught crossing the border illegally, including the possibility of a five-year ban on entry to the U.S. for migrants who are deported, and prosecution.
"We are making it very clear that our border is not open, that crossing irregularly is against the law and that those who are not eligible for relief will be quickly returned," Mayorkas said at a press conference in Washington.
They'll enter the U.S. and be placed in detention centers as they go through expedited removal.
Those considered to have valid claims will be allowed to stay in the country as their cases make their way through immigration court.
In replacing Title 42, some of Biden’s strategies include more legal pathways for migrants to enter the U.S. without having to go on the sometimes fatal journey to the border, setting up centers where migrants can apply to emigrate, and a humanitarian parole process currently in place with 30,000 slots a month for people from four countries to come to the U.S.
Additional appointments will be added through the CBP One app, following much criticism concerning technological problems and the lack of enough appointments to meet the demand.
During a White House press briefing Thursday, Mayorkas urged patience, saying that the administration is already seeing big surges of migration at the border.
“We prepared for this moment for almost two years, and our plan will deliver results," he said. "It will take time for those results to be fully realized and it is essential that we all take this into account.”
Mayorkas went on to issue a warning to all migrants thinking of making the trip across the southern border.
“Smugglers have been long hard at work spreading false information that the border will be open. They are lying. To people who are thinking of making the journey to our southern border, know this — smugglers care only about profits, not people. Do not risk your life and your life savings only to be removed from the United States if and when you arrive here,” he said.
More migrant buses
New York City received yet another migrant bus early Thursday morning, carrying 41 new migrants as it pulled into the Port Authority bus terminal in midtown Manhattan.
Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott is resuming his anti-immigration initiative, Operation Lone Star, in which he charters buses to Democratic sanctuary cities, most notably Chicago, New York City and Washington, D.C.
The end of Title 42 could mean an expected increase in migrant buses.
Manuel Castro, New York City’s immigration commissioner, said that up to 1,000 migrants could arrive daily in the coming weeks.
The new arrivals were mostly families with children, and from Venezuela, said Ilze Thielmann from Team TLC NYC, a group of volunteers who support new arrivals. Another bus arrived later that Thursday afternoon, with 50 people on board, the group said.
With the end of Title 42, cities are now bracing for what can mean even more migrant buses in their backyard despite their out-stretched resources such as money, food, and beds.
Chicago and New York have been strained due to the overwhelming number of arrivals — over 8,000 migrant arrivals in Chicago — with nearly 60,000 arriving in New York since last Spring and more than 37,500 currently still in the city’s care.
Vice President Kamala Harris’ D.C. residence also — once again — was the destination of yet another migrant bus after one arrived early Thursday with more than 30 migrants on board.
It was the second bus to arrive at the Naval Observatory in less than 24 hours, NBC News reported. The first bus dropped off almost 40 people.
In D.C., organizations are still trying to arrange housing and services for those bused to the city last year, said Diana Fula from the Congregation Action Network.