The Border Patrol Union representative for the Del Rio, Texas, border sector warned Republican lawmakers Monday that Title 42’s end could spell an incident similar to when thousands of Haitian migrants showed up under the international bridge in September.
“Our concern is that we’re going to see more situations like we had with the Haitian migrant camp up and down the border,” President of the National Border Patrol Council President Jon Anfinsen told the members.
Title 42, a Trump-era order, was put in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and it’s responsible for the expulsion of over 1.7 million, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) statistics. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday announced that the order will end May 23.
Anfinsen explained how the numbers of migrants crossing into Del Rio at the time started to creep up as thousands of Haitian migrants attempted to cross the border over just a few days and overwhelmed the small town’s resources, similar to trends the sector is seeing now.
“So, here in Del Rio, we’ve seen what happens when there is such a large influx of crossings in a short time frame,” Anfinsen said. “In the days before the camp set up in September, we had been seeing about 1,100 or so arrests per day, but then that week, it shot up to somedays when we had 3,300 or so in a single day.”
“In the two weeks that ended with the day that the last person left that camp, we had almost 27,000 people arrested in our sector, with about 20,000 of them just in the city of Del Rio. So, that was just a glimpse of what we’re afraid could happen up and down the border,” he added.
In the last month, the sector had around 41,000 encounters, of which about 15,000 migrants were amenable to Title 42, and the rest were processed under Title 8 and released, according to Anfinsen.
“Yesterday, we had over 1,500 arrests and 1,100 of those were single adults,” Anfinsen said. “The day before that, it was 1,600 arrests and over 1,200 were single adults. So, we’re starting to see these days where our numbers are creeping up and getting closer and closer to what we saw last September.”
Of 6,000 to 6,500 migrants encountered in the sector in the last four days, about 2,500 of them were expelled under Title 42, according to Anfinsen.
“Starting May 23, when Title 42 goes away, we then have to deal with … those 2,500 people and we just don’t have a plan in place for the additional resources,” Anfinsen said.
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