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Biden’s Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas insists the border will not be ‘open’ when Title 42 ends and laws will still be enforced on trip to the border as U.S. waits for judge to decide whether to drop restrictions on May 23
- Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visited the southern border on Tuesday as the country prepares for an end of Title 42 on May 23
- He met with border patrol agents as they brace for a massive migration influx
- Said when Title 42 ends, the border will remained ‘closed’ to illegal immigration
- ‘While, of course, we are preparing for the end of Title 42 … that does not mean that the border is open beginning May 23,’ Mayorkas insisted
- Customs and Border Protection officials encountered 234,088 migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border in April
- It is a 5.8% increase from 221,303 in March and represents a 22-year high
- The figure is expected to triple once Title 42 ends next week
- Images emerged of migrants boarding a removal flight to Guatemala out of the Valley International Airport in Harlingen, Texas on Tuesday
- It was determined that they do not have a legal basis to remain in the U.S.
Alejandro Mayorkas went to the southern border on Tuesday and insisted the border will not be ‘open’ once Title 42 ends next week as the U.S. braces for a massive influx of migrants.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary visited the areas within the Rio Grande Valley that are the most popular spots for migrants crossing into the U.S. and spoke with border officers, including U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz.
Mayorkas held a press conference at the border Tuesday afternoon where he noted that his trip Tuesday marks his tenth time to the border since becoming DHS secretary.
His visit comes just days before Title 42 is set to end, which internal estimates predict will lead to a tripling in migration. It also comes the morning after Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released numbers for April encounters, which is the highest yet of Joe Biden’s presidency.
‘It is very important to note that while, of course, we are preparing for the end of Title 42 based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s decision that it will end on May 23, that does not mean that the border is open beginning May 23,’ Mayorkas insisted.
‘We continue to enforce the laws of this country,’ he added. ‘We continue to remove individuals who do not qualify for relief under the laws of this country.’
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas held a press conference in Texas during a trop to the southern border on Tuesday less than one week before Title 42 is set to expire
Mayorkas (pictured center) visited the southern border on Tuesday and spoke with border agents as the country braces for an end of Title 42 on May 23, which is expected to lead to a surge in migration
Pictured: Migrants board a removal flight to Guatemala out of the Valley International Airport in Harlingen, Texas on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 because they do not have a legal basis to remain in the U.S.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials made 234,088 stops on the Mexican border last month, a 5.8% increase from 221,303 in March and a 22-year high. The figure is expected to triple once Title 42 ends next week
Last month, CBP encountered 234,088 migrants crossing from Mexico into the U.S. – a 5.8 percent increase from the month prior where encounters reached 221,303. The March figure was the highest since July 2021 when encounters were at 213,593.
The last few months have seen massive spikes as migrants head to the U.S. border in preparation for the end of Title 42, which is a pandemic-era policy that allows for instant expulsions without the immigration agencies hearing asylum claims in the midst of a public health emergency.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced last month that the policy would end on May 23 after being in place for years during the pandemic.
But Arizona, Missouri and Louisiana filed a lawsuit in the Western District of Louisiana in April trying to extend the policy by arguing that the Biden administration has failed to account for costs to states if title 42 ends.
A migrant is patted-down before boarding a removal flight out of the U.S. Guatemala on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 after it was determined she did not have a legal basis to stay in the country
Judge Robert Summerhays has not yet ruled on the case, but the federal judge could block the administration from ending Title 42.
Morale among border agents have been at an all time low as migration continues to surge amid staffing issues and policies they feel exacerbate the crisis. President Biden has also refused to visit the border since taking office, instead delegating the issue to Vice President Kamala Harris, who has only gone to the U.S.-Mexico border once since taking office.
Border states are seeing massive migration numbers – and even Mayorkas has admitted that it will increase with the end of Title 42. Some estimates show the average number of crossings per day going from the current 8,000 to 18,000 once the policy is no longer in effect.
The total number of crossings in April was made worse by the Ukrainian refugee crisis as the Eastern European country faces its third straight month of invasion and attack from Russia.
Many of these Ukrainian refugees went through the San Diego border crossing and the number of these migrants has dropped significantly since April 25 as the administration started directing those fleeing Russian aggression to U.S. airports by way of Europe – not Mexico.
Mayorkas also visited the border in February where he wasn’t greeted kindly by border agents.