It begins: First caravan heads to U.S. border after announcement on end of Title 42

It begins: First caravan heads to U.S. border after announcement on end of Title 42
AP Photo/Moises Castillo

A caravan of hundreds of migrants is leaving Tapachula Mexico today. The first stop will be Mexico City with the final destination being the U.S.-Mexico border. This is a direct result of the Biden administration’s decision to end Title 42. The date of the policy’s termination is tentatively set for May 23.

DHS knows what is about to happen and is scrambling to counter the waves of migrants that will arrive on the southern border and attempt to cross into the U.S., either by asking for asylum at a port of entry or crossing and simply waiting for law enforcement to apprehend them. Both methods of entry require resources that must be increased in order to manage the situation. The law enforcement currently on the border, including Border Patrol agents, are already overwhelmed. The Biden administration has not provided adequate resources or personnel to manage the flow of illegal migration since Biden took office.

When Biden campaigned for president, he promised to freeze deportations and work for blanket amnesty for the millions of illegal aliens already in our country. He has done great damage to national security and public health policy by trying to halt as many policies and agreements used during the previous administration as possible, simply to prove he’s a humanitarian and not the bad Orange Man. DHS Secretary Mayorkas stated that his first priority was ending the pandemic yet literally millions of migrants from around the world have shown up at the border and that is solely because of this administration’s promises of non-enforcement of federal laws in place. This isn’t rocket science. When Biden calls for an open border and the suspension of the laws of the land, migrants respond. They come to the border expecting to be allowed to enter the country and stay.

Hundreds of migrants at a camp in Tapachula, Mexico are not waiting for May to roll around. They are setting off on foot and walking to Mexico City. Once there, they will prepare for the second part of their trip to the border. Tapachula is on the Mexican-Guatemalan border. Migrants there have complained for weeks, some for months, that conditions are not good there and the Mexican government is not providing the help they need.

‘Mexico, tend to your migrants,’ a migrant says through a megaphone. ‘That’s the only thing we’re asking, and to the people of Tapachula, thank you for supporting us.’

‘Fellow migrants, we’re leaving Tapachula very early on Friday.’

A Texas delegation is asking Biden to keep Title 42 in place longer, at least until plans are in place and resources are provided to control what is likely to happen.

First, DHS remains heavily reliant on Title 42 to prevent local communities in Texas from becoming more overwhelmed than they already are with the migrants DHS has paroled into the United States. For the past nine months, the percentage of migrants encountered along the southwest border and expelled under Title 42 has hovered between 45 and 57 percent. 6 Last month 55 percent of these migrants were expelled. In other words, there has been no gradual phase-out of Title 42, and so its rescission will cause a sharp spike in the number of migrants that DHS will have to fully process under Title 8. In fact, Axios reports that DHS estimates that 25,000 migrants reside in Mexican shelters just south of the U.S. border, waiting for Title 42 to end. And some U.S. intelligence estimates reportedly indicate that an influx of more than
170,000 migrants could materialize if the public health authority is lifted.7

Second, instead of implementing measures to deter migrants from making the perilous journey to the southwest border, DHS has paradoxically removed many of the deterrents against irregular migration. Since June, DHS has sought to terminate the Migrant Protection Protocols, under which migrants wait in Mexico until the immigration courts can resolve their asylum claims. DHS has also issued immigration enforcement guidelines that signal to prospective illegal immigrants that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is unlikely to take action to remove them, establishing that “[t]he fact an individual is a removable noncitizen . . . should not alone be the basis of an enforcement action against them.”8 These guidelines purport to prioritize illegal border crossers, but from February 18, 2021 through the end of Fiscal Year 2021, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) removed only around 25,000 aliens under the ‘threat to border security’ category.9 In comparison, sources indicate that in FY 2021 Border Patrol recorded around 400,000 aliens entering the interior after evading apprehension.10 And most recently, DHS issued an interim final rule which could significantly expand the practice of paroling apprehended migrants into the United States.11 Removing these deterrents has made it impossible to transition back to a Title 8-only framework at this time, without imposing significant costs on local communities, DHS officials, and the migrants themselves.

Those are all legitimate points. A big problem with this administration is that Biden is prone to make sweeping announcements on policy without actually having a plan of action in place. We are now at the end of March. Title 42 will likely end on May 23. The Pentagon has been called upon by DHS to provide additional help on the border because of the expected increase in traffic there by migrants.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials confirmed on Tuesday that they are prepared for migrant flows to reach a ‘very high’ contingency of 18,000 people per day. This would equate to more than 500,000 each month.

Current plans also account for a 12,000-per-day rate, and for the current elevated rate of about 6,000 to 7,000 each day.

At least 170,000 migrants, according to reports, are waiting on the Mexico side of the border to immediately travel to the U.S. and seek asylum once they can no longer be turned away for pandemic reasons.

Air Force General Glen VanHerck confirmed to Senator Jim Inhofe, the ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee during a hearing on March 24, that border authorities have asked the Pentagon for help.

‘I’m deeply concerned that the crisis will soon get even worse,’ Inhofe said.

‘As we discussed in my office, if the Biden administration ends the title 42 border policy in April, illegal immigration will surge even beyond the current record-setting levels,’ he added, referring to a provision that allows migrants to be returned under public health control measures.

‘So Gen. VanHerck, given the worsening conditions and the crisis at the southwest border, are you aware of any discussion within the administration or DHS that could result in any requests for additional troops at that border?’

He replied: ‘Sen Inhofe there is a request from the Department of Homeland Security.

‘It is in the planning stages right now of the department to provide additional capability or capacity based on the potential for additional immigration, or folks coming to the southwest border.’

The Pentagon is in the “planning stages”. The caravans are already underway. Given the Biden border crisis already in existence, do we really think that this administration can handle what is about to happen on the southern border?

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David Strom 6:01 PM on June 05, 2023