With the expiration of Title 42 scheduled for Thursday, a significant surge of migrants is heading towards the southern border. According to U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei informed him that more than 80,000 migrants, mostly from Venezuela, are on their way to the U.S.-Mexico border. President Giammattei said he tried calling the White House about the issue but received no response. The impending end of Title 42 has prompted a wave of migrants to approach the border. Since 2020, Title 42, a public health order, has required the swift expulsion of hundreds of thousands of migrants due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, once the order expires, many migrants are likely to show up at the border, erroneously believing they will have an easier time entering the United States. The administration has warned that individuals who enter the country illegally will face severe consequences and encouraged those interested in entering the U.S. to utilize the legal pathways available.
In a high-traffic area of the border, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and officers are set to carry out the operation. Illegal immigrants who were sleeping on the streets of downtown El Paso have reported that they were awakened by authorities who gave them flyers urging them to surrender to CBP. One man said he saw the pamphlet distributor armed with a badge and a gun, but he was not intimidated and said he would not turn himself in.
In Brownsville, located nearly 800 miles south of El Paso, hundreds of migrants are also waiting to cross the border. One video shows many people crossing the border illegally, and more are expected to join them.
Last week, the Biden administration announced the deployment of an additional 1,500 troops to the border. The administration also reached an agreement for Mexico to take back illegal immigrants from outside of Mexico and announced the construction of migrant processing centers in Latin America. A $332 million fund provided by the Department of Homeland Security will assist released migrants through non-profits and local governments.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has reiterated that the border is not open and that illegal immigrants who enter the United States after Thursday will face repercussions, including re-entry bans and criminal prosecution.