Massive Migrant Group Hits the Texas Border as the End of Title 42 Looms

An enormous group of illegal immigrants in the hundreds have arrived at one portion of the southern border over the weekend. Border Patrol agents face crossings totaling tens of thousands each month, and is expected to drastically increase with the end of Title 42 just weeks away. 

Drone cameras showed a group of several hundred migrants who crossed the border into the U.S. and turned themselves into Border Patrol agents in Eagle Pass, Texas. A Customs and Border Protection source (CBP) said there had been over 72,000 illegal crossings where Eagle Pass is located in the Del Rio Sector since Fiscal Year 2022 began at the beginning of October. 

The southern border has seen a significant surge in illegal crossings since early 2021. Migrant encounters numbered more than 1.7 million encounters in FY 2021. The number jumped to more than 2.3 million last fiscal year. 

Customs and Border Protection announced that there had been more than 230,000 encounters in October, an increase from more than 164,000 seen last October. The Biden Administration says the border is “secure” and “closed.” It also emphasized targeting smugglers and fighting against the “root causes” like violence, climate change, and poverty while opening legal asylum pathways. 

Alejandro Mayorkas, Homeland Security Secretary, recently told lawmakers that the crisis was not just limited to the southern U.S. border. “The entire hemisphere is suffering a migration crisis. We are seeing an unprecedented movement of people from country to country. It is not restricted to the southern border,” said Mayorkas at a Senate hearing. 

GOP blames the administration for failed border policies

Meanwhile, Republicans have accused the Biden administration of its failed border policies. The administration’s policies include narrowing interior enforcement and ending Trump-era border security systems. Critics say these changes encouraged more migrants to journey to the border. 

Some border states, including Texas, have taken matters into their own hands. Republican Governor Greg Abbott declared an “invasion” at the border. He said the declaration gives Texas law enforcement the ability to return illegal immigrants to their country of origin. 

The newly-arrived groups of migrants came only days after a federal judge ruled that using Title 42 to expel migrants is unlawful and ordered the government to end the use of the public health order — which was first put in place in March 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

President Biden’s administration has sought and was granted a delay of five weeks to implement a plan for the border situation post-Title 42. The order, put in place under former President Trump, has been used to expel most migrants at the border. Last month, the Biden administration expanded the order to include Venezuelan nationals. 

Sources with the Border Patrol have expressed fear that the end of expulsions will lead to growing waves of migrants trying to enter the U.S, believing they are far less likely to be removed. 

However, the DHS said its plan will include the increased use of expedited removal and has warned potential migrants that they will be denied entry. 

“People should not listen to the lies by smugglers who will take advantage of vulnerable migrants, putting lives at risk. The border is closed, and we will continue to fully enforce our immigration laws at the border,” said the DHS in a statement.