The Department of Homeland Security is covertly preparing for a surge of “350,000 to 400,000” migrants in October, according to a report of NBC News. It believes the border might witness a massive flood of activity if the Title 42 COVID ban on asylum is lifted on Friday.
What is the Title 42 COVID ban on asylum?
Title 42, enacted during the Trump administration, authorizes the federal government to “expel” aliens, including asylum seekers, back to their home country without a hearing if there is a risk that they could transmit COVID-19. Title 42 has remained in effect under the Biden administration, but that might change as soon as Friday, after a federal judge decided that COVID-19 limits imposed in March 2020 were no longer necessary.
According to NBC News, if Title 42 is lifted, DHS anticipates hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers at the border, easily exceeding the record-breaking numbers of migrants seen this summer.
“On a call this week with senior Department of Homeland Security officials, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas asked whether the department was prepared for a worst-case scenario in which 350,000 to 400,000 migrants cross the border in October, according to two DHS officials familiar with the conversation,” NBC News reported.
It added: “The two DHS officials stressed that the estimate is not based on internal intelligence or calculations, saying it is meant to prepare the agency for what could be an overwhelming number of migrants who cross if a court order that lifts the Covid restriction, known as Title 42, takes effect at the end of the week, as is possible.”
“U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled Sept. 16 that use of Title 42, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authority implemented by the Trump administration to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 in March 2020, did not give the Biden administration the authority to block asylum-seekers from crossing the U.S.-Mexico border,” the outlet explained.
The ruling follows a series of other rulings that limit the administration’s ability to enact major, long-standing national policies through administrative agencies such as the CDC, and the order goes into effect on October 1 — Friday — though the Biden administration is still pursuing an appeal.
Continuous flow of migrants to the border
Since President Joe Biden took office, there has been a nearly continuous flow of migrants to the border, many of whom are seeking asylum or entry through routes that were closed during the previous administration, Daily Wire reported.
Notably, Biden reversed President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, which required prospective refugees to remain south of the border while their claims were processed, allowing asylum seekers to enter the United States while they awaited a hearing.
Biden has also advocated for major immigration reforms, including granting temporary amnesty to approximately 150,000 Haitian asylum seekers — a move that appears to have encouraged thousands more Haitians to seek refuge in the United States. Approximately 10,000 Haitian asylum seekers have already been processed through Del Rio, Texas, but Panama’s president warned earlier this week that this was only the beginning; an estimated 60,000 Haitians are still making their way through Central America to the United States border.
Texas border county votes to sue Biden
On Tuesday, the Texas County that was forced to harbor thousands of illegal immigrants under its international bridge voted unanimously to launch a lawsuit against President Joe Biden and asked other Texas border counties to join them.
“Because Border Patrol facilities were already over capacity, they had to place the illegal immigrants underneath the international bridge, resulting in third-world conditions while temperatures continued to reach 100 degrees every day,” Townhall noted.
“We’ve talked about immigration reform for as long as I can remember,” Val Verde County Commissioner Beau Nettleton stated. “Both parties have had control of Washington at one point or another over the last 20 years, and we have failed to do anything about it other than create the mess that we have today. It is inexcusable, and it is time that we get together with other counties and cities along the border and stand up and do something.”
“I don’t have the answer to whether a lawsuit solves the problem, but it draws attention to this problem,” he continued. “They took the same oath of office that I did; it was to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the United States and the laws of the state of Texas. That was the oath that I took. They took the same oath; they need to comply with that oath and do their job and stop this mess that’s going on.”