Arizona’s two Democratic senators have sent a letter to President Joe Biden warning him that ending Title 42, a pandemic-era policy that allowed for quick deportation of illegal migrants, without putting a plan in place will be a border disaster.
According to reports, the Department of Homeland Security is expecting 200,000 encounters of illegal migrants in March alone, and authorities with the department say that a “mass migration event” is very likely if Biden ends the policy, as expected.
The Washington Examiner reported:
Three senior Customs and Border Protection officials and a Border Patrol union leader told the Washington Examiner that the expectation at the agency is that CDC will choose not to renew Title 42 when it expires on April 20 and that the CBP is preparing to announce plans for handling the change before then.
“I’m certain the decision has been made by CDC and talks are taking place between agencies to figure out how to announce it and be prepared for the further invasion on the [southwest] border,” a senior CBP official wrote in a text on Wednesday, referencing internal discussions at the agency.
“Once word goes out that no one is being turned away under Title 42 anymore there’s really no telling what this could look like in a couple of months,” Hot Air reported on Friday. “Recall that last year we were using convention centers, military bases and other impromptu facilities around the country as temporary HHS holding facilities because the usual border facilities were overrun.”
Because of this, Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly are imploring Biden to come up with a plan to handle the massive influx before ending Title 42:
We write to you to express great concern about the lack of a specific plan from your Administration with respect to potential changes to the Title 42 Public Health authority, which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has relied on at the border during the coronavirus pandemic.
Given the impacts that changes to Title 42 could have on border communities, border security, and migrants, we urge your Administration not to make any changes to Title 42 implementation until you are completely ready to execute and coordinate a comprehensive plan that ensures a secure, orderly, and humane process at the border. We also request that you provide a full briefing to Congress on your plan before implementation and execution…
Last month alone, CBP expelled 91,513 migrants under Title 42, and processed 73,460 individuals under Title 8.1 The January figures are comparable, showing only a slight trend upward on the number of expulsions. Of those encounters, nearly thirty percent occurred in Arizona.2 A sharp end to Title 42 without a comprehensive plan in motion would significantly increase the strain on DHS, border communities, and local nonprofits that are already near or at capacity.
Once the title is lifted, tens of thousands of migrants are said to be waiting to cross the U.S. border.
“Intel stats [show that] there are tens of thousands just waiting in Mexico for it to end. [Border Patrol] capacity will be reached in a few days and we will be forced to release subjects on the street,” a senior Border Patrol official wrote in an email, according to the Examiner.
“This will cause even more to flood across the border. We will see something we have never seen before. The border will be open for narcotics to cross since everyone will be processing,” the email added.
After Biden reversed most of former President Donald Trump’s border security and immigration enforcement policies, illegal immigration, along with drug smuggling, dramatically increased.
“The average amount of fentanyl seized from 2018 through 2020 was 321 pounds a month. Through the first nine months of this year, the monthly average is 830 pounds,” said a November report from the Senate Republican Policy Committee.