Home of Lisa's Top Ten, the daily email that brings you the world.
The first task of the day

Sign Up for Lisa's Top Ten


Breaking Point: U.S. Southern Border Braces for Massive Influx of Migrants

Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott deploys National Guard to prevent migration.

State and U.S. officials are concerned the expiration of Title 42, a border restriction policy implemented during the pandemic, will lead to a surge of migrants and worsen the humanitarian crisis at the southern border.

El Paso, Texas, has become a hub for an influx of migrants seeking a better life in the United States as the Title 42 measure, which allowed fast-track expulsions of migrants for health reasons, will expire this Thursday.

Father Rafael Garcia, who runs a shelter for migrants in an El Paso church, described the impending end of the Title 42 public health order on Thursday as a critical moment in the unprecedented mass migration in the Western Hemisphere. The camp for hundreds of migrants around the church has become a bottleneck for the issue, he said.

But beginning May 9, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and officers, along with law enforcement partners from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, will conduct a targeted enforcement operation in El Paso, Texas, according to a DHS statement received by ADN America.

"As we have said repeatedly, individuals who do not have a lawful basis to remain will be removed,” said Acting Commissioner Troy Miller. “Individuals should not listen to the lies of smugglers and instead use lawful pathways to protection.”

Since 10:00 pm local time in Monday, the Office of Field Operations began to temporarily reduce processing lanes and passenger operations at the Paso Del Norte port of entry, in the interest of border security and to protect the traveling public, infrastructure, and CBP’s workforce, the statement added. 

John Martin, deputy director of the Opportunity Center for the Homeless in El Paso, Texas, expressed his concerns to CNN, stating that despite preparations, the situation may still be overwhelming. Title 42 was originally implemented by the Trump administration to quickly turn away certain migrants at the border, with the aim of preventing the spread of Covid-19.

Over 1,000 migrants have gathered in downtown El Paso, where a state of emergency has been declared since May 1 to allow authorities to react more quickly.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have been conducting three daily expulsions in recent weeks as around 30,000 migrants, primarily from Venezuela, have entered the U.S. in the region since mid-April, compared to 1,700 in the first two weeks of April, the Associated Press reported.

In El Paso, officials are also managing an increase in migrants and are concerned that thousands more are waiting to cross.

On Monday, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott announced the deployment of a new National Guard unit that will utilize helicopters to stop migrants from entering the state from Mexico.

Additionally, he revealed that bills are currently being drafted to classify illegal entry into the US as a "serious crime" and to permit the expulsion of migrants.

Most of the migrants are male and undocumented, and they have taken shelter under improvised canvas tents during the day while covering themselves with Red Cross blankets at night.

Venezuelan Luis Gutierrez, one of the hundreds of migrants who are arriving these days in El Paso, Texas, told EFE that he doesn't know anything about Title 42, a U.S. regulation allowing the expedited expulsion of illegal migrants that will expire in a week.

Gutierrez, 33, said that he entered the U.S. illegally through a "gap" a foot in diameter -- presumably through the US-Mexico border fence - and advises anyone trying to get across the frontier "to be strong because the road is a rough one."

To address the expected influx, Abbott has announced the deployment of a new Texas National Guard unit that will use helicopters to prevent migrants from crossing into the state from Mexico, and bills are being drafted to make it a "serious crime" to enter the U.S. illegally and to allow the expulsion of migrants.

Meanwhile, public services have been set up for the people concentrated in the area.

Fox News’ Flight Team captured hundreds of migrants crossing from Mexico into Texas ahead of the ending of Title 42 order. Brownsville agents encounter 2,000 migrants per day, while CBP sources report encountering more than 8,000 migrants daily at the border in the first four days of May.

Many of the migrants are making plans for what they'll do next: request asylum or continue their illegal trek northward risking being apprehended and deported. Some are still confused about what they can or must do after crossing the border.

The situation has raised concerns about the safety of the migrants, and a Venezuelan and a Cuban expressed their doubts to EFE about what they can or must do now that they have crossed the border.

They said they don't know what their next step should be after arriving two days ago. The El Paso region has seen a large number of border crossings in the last six months, with most of those people being Venezuelans.

According to US Customs and Border Protection, between October 2022 and March 2023, over 1,223,067 migrants have been detained along the southern US border, with most of them in the El Paso area.

The number of detentions has increased by about 134 percent compared to the same period the year before.

Related Story: Arizona Faces Post-Title 42 Border Surge, Will Move Some Migrants to Other States

Read More

Related Posts