150,000 migrants expected to cross the US border as Title 42 ends, and blue city mayors prepare for more buses

The scope of this disaster really is amazing. With Title 42 set to end Thursday the everyone from border state governors to blue city mayors is getting ready for a new influx of migrants. There may not be a long wait because more than a hundred thousand people are already camped out on the Mexican side of the border waiting for the right moment.

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The federal government estimates more than 150,000 migrants were waiting in shelters and on the streets of northern Mexican states bordering the US this weekend, a source familiar with the estimates told CNN.

That includes 60,000 migrants in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, 35,000 in the state of Tamaulipas and 25,000 in the state of Coahuila, among others, the source said Monday, adding the government estimates hundreds of thousands of migrants were in the “pipeline” in southern Mexico and Central American countries.

So 150,000 people on the doorstep and maybe more than that on the way. Shelters in Tijuana are overflowing. The director of migrants affairs said a “humanitarian crisis” is near.

In Tijuana, Mexico, about 6,000 migrants were waiting in shelters, in homes and other areas of the city near San Diego, according to Enrique Lucero, Tijuana’s director of migrant affairs.

An increasing number of migrants are deciding to jump the border fence and swim across the border, Lucero said. Yet, shelters’ numbers don’t drop because more migrants arrive each day, and some are of nationalities he’s never seen represented there before, hailing from places like Kazakhstan, Mauritania, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Shelters are already beyond capacity, Lucero said, warning, “We are at the brink of a humanitarian crisis.”

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That leaves everyone on this side of the border struggling to decide what to do. The beleaguered city of El Paso, which already has more than 1,200 migrants sleeping in the streets, is preparing for even larger numbers of people to be released into their streets.  They have no choice but to start busing people to NY City again.

The Texas city is straining under the weight of over 1,000 people daily handing themselves over to border agents, with its processing centers oversubscribed and migrants camping out on its streets.

To manage the crisis, city leaders say they have to take action to move along with those who have been given papers and are in the US legally.

“If we start getting 5,000-10,000 people a day, they’re not coming to El Paso; they’re coming to the United States. Our job will be to continue to help our asylum-seekers get to their next destination,” Mayor Oscar Leeser explained Thursday.

He’s right of course. There’s absolutely no reason the city of El Paso should be asked to shoulder all of this. But even NY City has its limits. The city is reportedly planning to bus migrants to the suburbs, something the suburban counties are trying to stop. If that doesn’t work there are reports of a memo which brainstormed the idea of setting up tents in Central Park. That sounds crazy to me but then so does 1,200 migrants sleeping in the streets of El Paso.

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In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot declared a state of emergency in anticipation of another surge of buses from the border states.

Lightfoot’s office said since the first group of migrants were bused to Chicago from Texas last August, the city has coordinated with local and state agencies to care for over 8,000 migrants. The declaration states that number is “exceeding the City’s ability to manage that inflow.”…

Lightfoot said on Tuesday the city was anticipating another surge in asylum seekers coming to Chicago after the expiration of Title 42, but that the surge has likely already started. Lightfoot said about two weeks ago, Chicago recorded an increase in daily arrivals to the city to about 100 to 200 people on a daily basis…

The number of new arrivals have overwhelmed shelters, forcing families to camp out at police stations. Lightfoot said in the declaration the city’s resources have been stretched “to the breaking point.”

There’s another report today that Gov. DeSantis is also gearing up to send more migrants north, though he hasn’t said where yet.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is taking steps to once again send migrants to Democratic-led cities as an affront to the Biden administration’s immigration policies, joining other Republican governors who have bussed people north.

Florida has selected multiple companies to execute the next phase of DeSantis’ migrant relocation program, according to a source familiar with the process, setting in motion plans to transport migrants to other cities just as he did last year…

One company asked if migrants would be allowed to get off the bus before they reached their destination.

“Yes,” the state responded. “This program is entirely voluntary.”

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This local news report from a CBS affiliate in San Diego was published yesterday. At this one spot along the wall, people have been camped out for four days with no idea when or how they’ll be allowed to apply for asylum.

Update: Just as I wrapped this up I saw this new story.

Gov. Kathy Hochul issued an executive order late Tuesday to bolster the state’s efforts to help New York City with an influx of asylum-seekers as a federal border policy is set to expire later this week.

The move by the Democratic governor comes as the New York City suburbs are in an uproar over Mayor Eric Adams’ plan to move at least 400 migrants from the city to vacant hotels in Rockland and Orange counties, drawing criticism and vows of defiance from local leaders…

“It is a crisis situation, especially with the suspension of Title 42 on Thursday,” Hochul told reporters Tuesday on Long Island. “It’s no surprise that there will literally be thousands of more individuals coming across the border and ultimately finding their way to the state of New York.”

And that right there is why I believe the buses full of migrants has been a net positive. Does anyone believe for an instant that the Gov. of New York would be calling this a crisis situation today if not for the buses? She wouldn’t be saying a word, likely afraid of calling attention to a negative situation the White House doesn’t want to talk about. But because she’s been made part of it, now she’s talking about it. That’s good. When enough blue state governors and mayors get tired of this maybe something will finally change.

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John Stossel 5:30 PM | July 13, 2024
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