In this March 21, 2021 file photo, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent looks on near a gate on the U.S.-Mexico border wall as agents take migrants into custody, in Abram-Perezville, Texas.InternationalIndiaAfricaExclusiveEL PASO (Sputnik) – US National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) Vice President Chris Cabrera, who works as a Border Patrol agent in the Rio Grande Valley sector in Texas, told Sputnik the Biden administration’s plan to deter a surge of migrants on the US-Mexico border was not clearly relayed to agents on the front lines of the border crisis. A massive surge of illegal immigrants is underway on the US-Mexico border ahead of the expiration of Title 42 on Thursday. The Trump-era public health emergency order allowed the US government to clamp down on illegal immigration at the border to prevent the spread of COVID-19. “We got a lot coming for us,” Cabrera said. “I don’t know what the plan is, but whatever it is, it hasn’t been really relayed to us as far as what they’re going to do to deter people from coming in in droves.” Earlier this week, US President Joe Biden said the US southern border will be chaotic once Title 42 expires; in fact, it remains to be seen if the United States is prepared to deal with the massive surge of migrants anticipated when the policy expires. US border agents are already seeing huge numbers of migrants arriving on the US-Mexico border ahead of the end of Title 42, Cabrera said.
There are reportedly tens of thousands of migrants waiting in Mexico to cross into the United States after Thursday. US media reported, citing US government data, that between 11,000 and 13,000 daily migrant arrivals are expected after post-Title 42.
“We’re already at capacity in most of our stations, most of our sectors that are having huge numbers,” Cabrera said. “So we’re already at capacity, and we haven’t even hit the high watermark.” Non-government organizations (NGOs) that aid migrants may also be at capacity, Cabrera added. “Usually our relief valve is the NGO, so I would imagine if we’re capacity, they’re at capacity,” Cabrera said. Last week, a Sputnik correspondent reported that more than 1,700 migrants were gathered for several days outside a church in downtown El Paso, Texas, that had easily reached its full volume. AmericasMigrants Overwhelm US Southern Border City Days Before Title 42 Expulsion Policy Ends4 May, 20:52 GMTAccording to Cabrera, more migrants will likely be released into US border communities due to capacity issues if migrant arrivals continue to intensify after Title 42 expires. “When we have issues like we’re having now – Title 42 is still in play and we’re still having big numbers and you can’t get buses to bus them out of the local area fast enough – so obviously they’re gonna release them on the streets,” Cabrera said. “Our numbers are gonna probably double, triple, quadruple … if we can’t put them anywhere now, where are we going to put them when we’re doubled and tripled up.” Cabrera expects migrants who already made the trip to the US-Mexico border will continue to attempt to illegally cross into the United States regardless of any policy the Biden administration imposes to deter them; however, he emphasized the current border crisis can only be fixed by Congress. “I think there needs to be a legislative fix to it,” Cabrera said. “We need to secure this border, mandatory detention, mandatory removal. That is the single biggest factor that will deter people from coming across.” On Wednesday, US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the United States finalized a rule that will impose harsher consequences for migrants that illegally enter the United States.
The rule presumes that those who do not use lawful pathways to enter the United States are ineligible for asylum and authorizes deportations of migrants who do not establish a reasonable fear of persecution in their country.
Migrants who do not claim fear of persecution will be deported immediately, and migrants that do claim fear of persecution will encounter a higher threshold under the new asylum rule – unless they have accessed lawful pathways or sought relief in another country and been denied.
Moreover, after Title 42 is lifted, migrants will still face consequences for crossing into the United States illegally under an authority known as Title 8, which subjects migrants to at least a five year bar on re-entry into the United States, and can face criminal prosecution if they attempt to cross illegally again. AmericasTexas to Deploy Newly Created Guard Unit to Intercept Migrants at Border8 May, 12:50 GMTFormer US Border Patrol sector chief Victor Manjarrez also told Sputnik he expects the number of migrants arriving on the US-Mexico border to increase. “I do expect the numbers to go up. CBP [Customs and Border Protection], they’re at the point of saturation, so I don’t know if they could even arrest more if they wanted to,” Manjarrez said. “They’re overwhelmed. It’ll hit a point where they can’t arrest anyone and people are gonna wait to be arrested – that’s part of the process, you wait to get arrested to claim asylum.” The description of what is currently occurring on the US-Mexico border has transformed from a border crisis to a disaster, Manjarrez said. It will take the Biden administration some time to turn the tide on the current surge of migrants at the border, Manjarrez said, adding that US-bound migrants should not be expected to turn back after already suffering hardships and giving up everything they have to make the journey to the United States. “Some of the lowest points of illegal immigration had been when there’s been a strong deterrent, some kind of consequence for crossing illegally,” Manjarrez said. “You start with that. That’s not the cure, but that’s a start where you can start to slow the flow down enough so you can manage it.” On Monday, US Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz said more than 26,000 migrants have been apprehended on the US southern border over the last three days. More than 10,300 migrants crossed illegally the US-Mexico border on Tuesday, US media reported citing CBP sources. US Congressman Tony Gonzales has said that Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei informed him the White House is ignoring his warning calls about a group of 80,000 migrants making their way to the United States in light of the end of Title 42.
An all-time record number of migrants has arrived at the US southern border under the Biden administration, hitting two consecutive records in 2021 and 2022, exceeding 2.3 million people.
In fiscal year 2023, the US authorities said they have encountered more than 1.2 million migrants. Fox News and other media outlets have said the number of illegal immigrants to enter the United States since Biden assumed office has exceeded six million.