Footage captured by Fox News’ Flight Team shows hundreds of migrants streaming across the border into Texas from Mexico, as numbers are already beginning to emerge ahead of the ending of the Title 42 public health order next week.
The thermal drone footage, captured overnight, shows hundreds of migrants streaming into Brownsville from Matamoros, Mexico. Agents are encountering migrants at a rate of 2,000 a day in Brownsville. Meanwhile, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) sources say in the first four days of May they have been encountering more than 8,000 migrants a day border-wide.
That is before the end of Title 42 on May 11. The public health order was implemented in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and millions of migrants have been rapidly expelled back to Mexico under the order for public health reasons. In March, 46% of all encounters resulted in a Title 42 expulsion.
TILLIS, SINEMA TO INTRODUCE BILL TO ALLOW MIGRANT EXPULSIONS TO CONTINUE AFTER TITLE 42 ENDS
But the looming end to the order next week has led to fears of a renewed surge at the border, with prior Department of Homeland Security estimates warning that there could be up to 14,000 migrant encounters a day. The latest footage suggests that may not be an exaggeration.
The Biden administration has been scrambling to implement measures to reduce the number of illegal crossings and establish a more orderly process. The administration also announced this week that it is sending 1,500 troops to the border, although officials have said they won’t be engaging with migrants but acting in a supporting role to Customs and Border Protection.
It has also proposed a rule that would, in theory, bar migrants from asylum eligibility if they enter illegally and have also failed to claim asylum in a country through which they have already passed.
It has also announced it is expanding legal pathways with migrant processing centers being established throughout Latin America. Officials also announced a number of collaborative measures with Mexico — including an agreement for Mexico to take non-Mexican migrant deportations.
“This is a hemispheric challenge that demands hemispheric solutions,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said at a press conference. “Working with our neighbors in the region, we can and will reduce the number of migrants who reach our southern border.”
GOP SENATORS URGE BIDEN TO REVERSE TITLE 42 TERMINATION, CITING ESTIMATES OF MIGRANT DELUGE
But officials have conceded that a surge is likely, and it has lawyers on both sides of the aisle concerned. Sens. Thom Tillis, RN.C., Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., Joe Manchin, DW.Va., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, signed onto legislation this week that would give the administration an authority similar to Title 42 for an additional two years.
“The immigration crisis is only getting worse and our broken immigration system is ill-equipped to handle it,” Manchin said in a statement. “Our bipartisan legislation creates a two-year temporary solution to prevent a complete collapse at our southern border. Now, our political leaders must put partisanship aside to finally secure our border, establish a reliable visa program and ensure the American Dream is possible for everyone who follows the law and is willing to work hard.”
BIDEN ADMIN SECURES DEAL WITH MEXICO TO DEPORT SOME NON-MEXICAN MIGRANTS AHEAD OF TITLE 42 BEDLAM
The administration has been calling on Republicans in Congress to pass an immigration reform package that it unveiled on the first day in office, but Republicans have rejected that for its inclusion of a mass amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants.
Meanwhile, Republicans in the House have introduced their own border security and asylum reform package, and on Thursday called for the administration to work with them on it.
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“Title 42 ends in 6 days and we are already seeing images of complete chaos at the border,” the GOP members of the House Homeland Security Committee tweeted. “It’s obvious Secretary Mayorkas doesn’t have a plan to stop the surge. It’s time to work with House Republicans to return order to the border.”