Texas Border Agencies Brace for Mass Illegal Crossings After End of Title 42

© REUTERS / JOSE LUIS GONZALEZMigrants from Central America are detained by U.S. Border Patrol agents after crossing into the United States from Mexico, in Sunland Park, New Mexico, U.S., July 22, 2021.
Migrants from Central America are detained by U.S. Border Patrol agents after crossing into the United States from Mexico, in Sunland Park, New Mexico, U.S., July 22, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.04.2022
On 23 May, the Biden administration plans to scrap Title 42, a Trump-era measure allowing customs officers to quickly expel illegal migrants due to COVID-related health restrictions. The report sparked an outcry among officials from states bordering Mexico amid fears the crisis on the southern border could worsen.
With Title 42 due to be repealed in late May, scores of soldiers with the Texas National Guard will conduct drills at the US-Mexico border to brace for what officials describe as a mass migration event.
Southwest Border Operations Chief of Staff Colonel Patrick Nolan told Fox News that they "are prepared and overwhelming a port of entry in Texas is simply just not going to happen".

At the same time, he warned that when Title 42 expires, officials in Texas are expecting thousands of illegal immigrant crossings every day, stressing, "with 1,900 miles of border, Texas is arguably the front line of defence".

Nolan called illegal crossings a security issue that pose a threat not only to Texas, but the entire country.
According to him, "there's the potential for criminal actors to come across with the normal people who are coming across and go through the border patrol processing".
Touching upon the drills, he explained that the first training, ordered by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, had already taken place in the Rio Grande Valley, an area which Nolan said "traditionally, sees some of the highest illegal immigration activity".

The Southwest Border Operations Chief of Staff stressed that the nation's border agencies "have to look at the real possibility that we might have to respond to more than one event at more than one place".

CDC to Repeal Title 42

He spoke a few weeks after Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC), and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, indicated that as of late May the CDC would terminate Title 42.
The CDC said that its termination of Title 42 would be implemented "in consultation with" the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by 23 May, giving the agency "time to implement appropriate COVID-19 mitigation protocols, such as scaling up a programme to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to migrants, and to prepare to resume regular migration under Title 8".
The Trump administration enacted Title 42 at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, using it to justify the expulsion of more than 80 percent of illegal immigrants caught trying to enter the country. Under the Biden administration, that figure dropped to 55 percent.
Critics of Title 42 have dismissed it as a "racist" and "unjust" policy, whereas supporters upheld the policy as one of the few remaining means available to the government to expel illegal migrants quickly. Title 42 enables the border patrol to remove migrants from the country immediately without allowing them to apply for refugee status.
DHS officials earlier this month confirmed that they are bracing themselves for migrant flows to reach "very high" levels of 18,000 people per day after the Title 42 restriction ends in May.
Last month, 164,973 migrants were seized at the US southern border, 7 percent more than had been taken in February. For the whole of 2021, border patrol arrests reached an all-time high of 1.7 million, according to DHS estimates.
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