The Biden administration released its plan Tuesday for handling the influx of migrants expected to cross the U.S.-Mexico border when Title 42 ends.
The plan includes six pillars to address the migrant flows, including Customs and Border Protection (CBP) having the capability to hold around 18,000 migrants at a time in custody by May 23, when the Trump-era policy used to quickly expel migrants is set to end.
“When the Title 42 public health Order is lifted, we anticipate migration levels will increase, as smugglers will seek to take advantage of and profit from vulnerable migrants. The increase in migration being experienced by the United States is consistent with larger global trends: there are currently more people in the world displaced from their homes than at any time since World War II, including in the Western Hemisphere,” Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Alejandro Mayorkas wrote in a memo.
The plan also includes steps to surge authorities to the border, provide grants to local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) aiding migrants, and “deterring” illegal migration through agreements with Panama and Costa Rica and messages to smugglers that the border isn’t open.
“We are also sending a clear message in the region to counteract misinformation from smugglers, including that the termination of the Title 42 public health Order does not mean that the U.S. border is open. As we execute this work, our objective continues to be the safe, orderly, and humane processing of noncitizens, consistent with our laws, while protecting national security and public safety,” the plan stated.
DHS says it will be able to mitigate the surge with time, support from members of Congress, local officials and NGOs, according to the plan.
“A significant increase in migrant encounters will substantially strain our system even further. We will address this challenge successfully, but it will take time, and we need the partnership of Congress, state and local officials, NGOs, and communities to do so. We are operating within a fundamentally broken immigration system that only Congress can fix,” the plan read, referring the current U.S. immigration system as “outdated.”
A federal court temporarily halted the Biden administration’s decision to halt Title 42 late Monday.
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