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According to a source within CBP, the Biden Administration will begin flying Honduran migrants home pursuant to Title 42. The source says the flights begin this week and could further reduce migrant crossings at the southwestern border.
The plan adds to prior expansion of the Title 42 COVID-19 authority announced in January, which said that Cubans and Nicaraguan migrants were subject to removal. In October, the administration first expanded the program by including Venezuelans.
The expansions resulted in an immediate, noticeable reduction in migrant border crossings. In January, migrant border crossings fell by almost 60 percent when compared to December. Border Patrol agents in the nine southwest border sectors apprehended approximately 130,000 migrants during the reporting period. This is down from 220,000 in December 2022.
In a White House briefing on Monday, spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre highlighted the reduction: “We still have more work to do … but unlike Republicans in Congress who simply pull political stunts and try to get in the way, we’ve got an actual plan, and as you see, our plan is indeed working.”
The source told Breitbart Texas the plan to expand the use of Title 42 as a deterrent to illegal migration is an acknowledgement by the Biden White House that consequences applied at the time of crossing are effective. This expansion of Title 42 and the addition of flights to Honduras are straight from the playbook of the Trump administration, the source added.
According to the source, ICE removal flights bound for Central and South America are taking off with increasing frequency. On Tuesday, flight tracking resources showed several ICE removal flights were airborne and en route to El Salvador and Ecuador from Laredo, Texas. Another flight departed El Paso Tuesday morning with a planned stop in Guatemala.
The expansion of Title 42 to Cubans and Nicaraguans began shortly before the announcement of President Joe Biden’s visit to Mexico City for the North American Leader’s Summit in January. The travel itinerary included a brief, first-time visit to the border in El Paso amid a changeover of leadership within the U.S. House of Representatives.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.