With reports from the White House hinting that the Biden Administration will bring Title 42 to an end in May 2022, former ICE officials predict that the border patrol and DHS will see a catastrophic surge of migrants on our southern border.
Ron Vitiello, a former Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (or ICE), told Fox News that phasing out Title 42, a policy created during the pandemic which sent certain migrants back to Mexico, would likely ensure in “chaos” and “could send a dangerous message to the rest of the world.”
At the end of March, current Border Patrol chief Raul Ortiz told reporters that for fiscal year 2022, nearly one million migrant encounters had been recorded. He also admitted that this number did not reflect the “got aways,” those whom the border patrol was unable to apprehend.
Fox News reported that the Biden Administration has been warned by multiple experts that ending Title 42 could be detrimental to Americans. The Border Patrol has been very vocal about their own lack of resources to combat the current numbers of people flowing over the border each day. Earlier this week, a tractor trailer was pulled over with over eighty migrants stuffed inside along with rotten vegetables.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed great concern about the situation at the border. While a number of migrants are simply seeking a better life in the United States, the porous border is also a place where human trafficking and drug trafficking are taking place at a horrendous level.
Vitiello told Fox that “cartels are controlling the border,” and he added, “This administration has removed the tools that stopped the last major surge at the border that started in 2019 and ended in late 2020.”
Vitiello related that the message being sent by the Biden Administration is one that could prove treacherous for Americans, particularly those living near the border. With resources down and fewer border patrol agents monitoring the border, individuals know that they are “less likely to be encountered” by authorities if they attempt to cross over into the United States. Vitiello says that this is like giving an invitation to individuals who want to come to the United States, for both nefarious and innocent reasons.
Border Patrol Chief Ortiz shared this week that his agents have encountered individuals from at least 157 different countries attempting to cross the southern border. He added “every sector is busier” than this time last year.
In February, the border patrol reported 164,973 migrant encounters, an increase of approximately 50,000 from the same time period in 2021. With the spring and summer months coming, bringing warmer weather, experts believe that the border patrol is only seeing the beginning of the migrant surge for the year.
Ortiz said that by the end of March, there should be at least 1 million encounters in the first six months of the fiscal year; for comparison, there were 1.7 million encounters in the entire fiscal 2021 year.
Republicans have eschewed the Biden Administration’s reversal of many Trump-era policies that were proven to lessen the number of migrants crossing the border. Late last year, when the number of encounters began to overwhelm border agents, the Biden Administration introduced “methods to allow quicker release of migrants into the interior.” A video of a local police officer questioning government contractors bringing in migrants – said to be children or teens that were being set up with sponsors or with family members. Shortly after, Florida governor Ron DeSantis sued the Biden Administration regarding sending migrants to his state. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has filed multiple suits regarding border policy since Biden took office in 2021.
Title 42 expelled about fifty percent of the migrants coming across the border in 2021; earlier in March, the Department of Human Services has put out a call for its employees to volunteer to work along the border.
Although top Democrats in Washington have encouraged President Biden to end Title 42, Democrats from border states have urged Biden to act otherwise.