Title 42 has ended. Although tens of thousands of illegal immigrants surged the area in the days and weeks leading up to the end of the Trump-era pandemic policy, on the day of reckoning, attempted border crossings seemed to dip slightly. The crisis is far from over, however. Some say it has only just begun.
The Migrant Crisis
“We’re boarding up like there were a hurricane coming,” Victor Treviño, the mayor of Laredo, Texas, told CNN Thursday evening. As Title 42 flickered out, around 60,000 migrants were waiting near the US-Mexico border, an official told CBS News. As of May 11, Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz said nearly 25,000 migrants were in holding facilities and tents. “We are over capacity in several of the sectors,” he admitted, which is why the agency started releasing migrants they vetted and cleared as posing no “significant threat to the community.”
With overcrowding and understaffing a serious issue, the plight of immigrants and Americans becomes more dangerous. On Friday, officials confirmed the death of a 17-year-old migrant from Honduras who arrived without a parent. As of May 10, HHS had 8,681 unaccompanied children who spend an average of 29 days in custody. “Border Patrol officials encountered more than 152,000 unaccompanied minors in fiscal year 2022, and have encountered more than 70,000 since Oct. 1, 2022,” CBS reported. The increase in numbers, some say, may be attributed to a federal judge’s decision to allow children the practice of “self-separation.” As CBS explained:
“Unaccompanied children were subject to expulsion under Title 42 until November 2020, when a federal judge put an end to the practice. Their exemption led thousands of children who had previously been expelled with their families to leave their loved ones in Mexico and attempt to claim asylum by themselves, a phenomenon that came to be known as ‘self-separation.’ Government figures showed that more than 12,000 migrant children reentered U.S. border custody as unaccompanied minors after being expelled to Mexico in the year following the judge’s ruling.”
This becomes even more worrisome since unaccompanied minors are exempt from the asylum rule, so some fear families may send their children to the US alone.
Biden’s Border Plans Thwarted in the 11th Hour
President Joe Biden is balancing precariously on the tip of a needle as his own party accuses his policy of requiring migrants to prove they sought asylum before entering the US as being just as bad as his predecessor’s. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, just hours before Title 42 expired, tried to encourage Americans and defend the commander-in-chief. “This is a challenge, and we are going to meet this challenge,” he said. “The transition to Title 8 processing will be swift and immediate. We have surged 24,000 Border Patrol agents and officers, thousands of troops, contractors, and over 1,000 asylum officers and judges to see this through.”
However, as Liberty Nation’s Leesa K. Donner reported Friday, May 12, the president’s plan for a mass street release of migrants was thwarted. “The scheme would have allowed for the release of migrants without a set court date and merely a promise to appear before a court after two months for further vetting,” she wrote. “This unchecked ‘parole’ would have been implemented if capacity at holding centers breached 125% – a situation that is as close to a certainty as one can expect.”
Judge Wetherell, however, wrote that the policy “appeared to conflict with a decision from the court in a separate case earlier this year,” USA Today explained. If it had not been struck down, effective at 11:59 p.m. on May 11, Customs and Border Protection said they would have paroled “certain people without what’s known as a notice to appear, essentially a charging document because those documents take additional time to prepare.” DHS told the court on Thursday, May 11: “At the current operational pace, and without any additional measures … USBP would have over 45,000 individuals in custody by the end of the month.” The agency continued:
“Border Patrol is not resourced to manage the level of encounters currently occurring across the Southwest Border, and the U.S. Congress provided less than half of the $4.9 billion that DHS requested to prepare for the lifting of Title 42.”
“The Southwest Border has been out of control for the past 2 years,” Judge Wetherell wrote. “And it is about to get worse because, at midnight tonight [May 11], the Title 42 order expires.”
Responses Across the Aisle
Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted: “Great work by Texas National Guard and Texas DPS. Biden sent 1,500 troops to the border to do paperwork. Texas deployed trained soldiers and troopers to take real action and respond to this crisis.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tweeted: “Horrific and cruel. The #BidenBorderCrisis is a deliberate political decision from Biden, Harris and every congressional Dem.”
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) told CNN that “the situation at the border is as chaotic as Afghanistan was … The administration came back and said they were happy with it. This meets their needs, and it is an embarrassment.”
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) warned that, in the coming days, Americans will hear “about the MASSIVE catastrophe at our southern border, but what you won’t hear is the folks who created this mess taking responsibility and fixing it.”
Former President Donald Trump released a video on Twitter saying the Biden administration has “turned the United States into a dumping ground for illegal aliens from all over the world. We’ve become a third world nation.”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre blamed Republicans on Friday during a press conference, saying:
“Republican-elected officials continue to play games here. They continue to have political stunts and they don’t want to solve this problem. They want to use it as a campaign tool for them …
“We’ve been seeing from Republican officials over and over again for the past several months, instead of trying to deal with the issue or talking to the federal government on how to deal with the issue in their state and their city, they don’t do that. They actually sabotage what we’re trying to do.”
Meanwhile, in the mostly Democratic neighborhood of South Shore, Chicago, residents expressed their upset at having 500 illegal immigrants housed in their community, RedState reported. During a townhall meeting, a local wardswoman proclaimed that “the border crisis was not South Shore’s crisis while others demanded to know why they weren’t informed of the resettlements.” And then, on Friday, a large protest rally was held during which one of the speakers cited “what sounds awful like ‘replacement theory’ as a reason the illegal immigrants shouldn’t be allowed in their neighborhood,” referring to giving illegals the right to vote and change their citizen dynamics.
Republican opposition to Biden’s plan was expected, but the backlash from his own side must sting.
All opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Liberty Nation.
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