Massive Surge of Immigrants Expected in Coming Days

( – As an immigration rule that has kept millions of would-be immigrants out of the U.S. expires, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security is scrambling to convince migrants not to come to the border.

DHS head Alejandro Mayorkas spoke to the press on May 11th, the day Title 42 expired, advising immigrants that they would not be able to claim asylum in the U.S. when the rule expires. 

Title 42 is a COVID-era immigration rule first signed by President Donald Trump in 2020. It allows border agents to quickly expel would-be immigrants on public health grounds. Since it came into effect, both Presidents Trump and Joe Biden have used it to expel a collective 2.8 million immigrants. 

Mayorkas said that Title 42 is not the only tool available to the government. When it expires, he said, the U.S. will use its power under Title 8. Title 8 allows the government to impose financial penalties on those who cross the border illegally (it is unclear how those fines would be collected), and to ban border jumpers for five years from trying to re-enter the U.S.

“I want to be very clear: our borders are not open,” Mayorkas said. 

That’s not what migrants think. Leaders in border cities like El Paso and Brownsville, Texas, report that thousands more immigrants than usual are lining up on the Mexican side of the line. On May 10, Border Patrol agents caught 10,000 people trying to cross the border illegally, which is a near-record high. 

The Border Patrol reports that immigrant apprehensions in the second week of May have hit their highest daily levels in history. 

But as Title 42 expires, it seems nearly certain that a surge of immigrants will come into the U.S. despite what Mayorkas or the Biden Administration say. If the Customs and Border Patrol or nonprofit groups don’t have enough room for the overflow in detention or housing facilities, the government will release huge numbers of illegal immigrants into the U.S.

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