Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas predicts there will be a surge in migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border when Title 42, a Trump-era expulsion order used to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, ends in less than a month.
Title 42 is expected to end on May 11. Migrant encounters topped 1.2 million at the southern border between October and March, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). (RELATED: Biden Admin Defends Border Measures After March Spike In Migrant Encounters)
“We do anticipate a surge in the number of encounters at our southern border,” Mayorkas told Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Gary Peters during a hearing Tuesday.
“The overarching approach of this administration is not only to invest of the countries of origin, but, given the reason why people flee their homes, whether it’s a more authoritarian regime, persecution by reason of an individual’s membership in a particular social group, increasing violence, poverty, corruption, what we are doing is building lawful pathways so individuals do not need to place their lives and their life savings in the hands of ruthless smugglers who only seek to exploit them for profit, at the same time, delivering a consequence for those individuals who do not avail themselves with the lawful pathway we provide,” Mayorkas said.
Several Border Patrol agents recently told the Daily Caller News Foundation that they haven’t been given much information about how to prepare for the end of Title 42.
“And we have exemplified that model in the parole program that we announced on January 5th of this year for individuals from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela. We have indeed seen people avail themselves of the lawful pathway and we’ve seen an over 95% drop in the number of encounters at the Southern border as a result of those programs,” Mayorkas said.
The Biden administration started a program in January to allow Cubans, Haitians, Venezuelans and Nicaraguans to apply to enter the country through a humanitarian parole pathway. The program accepts up to 30,000 migrants each month.
“We are surging resources to the border, we are going to be using our immigration authorities under Title 8 of the United States code, which delivers a consequence for individuals who are arriving in between the ports of entry who do not have a lawful basis to remain in the United States. We are working with local communities to increase their reception capacity, we are working with our neighbors, our partners to the south, Mexico and other countries, because what we are seeing is not exclusive to the Southern border,” Mayorkas said.
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