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Tags: joe biden | immigration | mexico | us-mexico border | covid-19 pandemic

Biden WH Braces for Potential Mass Migration at Southern Border When COVID Policy Ends

Biden WH Braces for Potential Mass Migration at Southern Border When COVID Policy Ends
Haitian migrants staying in an encampment on the U.S. border cross the Rio Grande back into Mexico to get food and water after a crossing point in Del Rio, Texas, was closed. (Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 17 March 2022 05:11 PM EDT

Biden administration officials are quietly bracing for a potential influx of more than 170,000 migrants at the southern border when a Trump-era COVID policy that allows for instant expulsions ends, Axios reports.

Border authorities have been relying on a federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) order known as Title 42 to turn away migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border since March 2020.

According to Axios, the CDC reviews the order every 60 days, with the next review coming up in early April.

"We continue to defer to the CDC on the use of Title 42 and how long it might remain in effect," a White House official told Axios. "As it stands right now — there are no changes: Title 42 is still in effect and anyone attempting to enter the country unlawfully will be subject to border restrictions — including potentially expulsion."

Last week, the CDC terminated the order as it relates to unaccompanied migrant children.

Reuters reported last week that the Biden administration is leaning toward ending Title 42, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

A third official told Reuters that the policy was being debated and a decision could come within weeks, although the outcome was unclear. All three requested anonymity as they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

CNN reports that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has also set up a Southwest Border Coordination Center at its headquarters to coordinate its border response across multiple agencies.

In an email sent to employees, DHS Deputy Secretary John Tien called for department personnel to volunteer at the U.S.-Mexico border, a source told CNN.

In February, U.S. Border Patrol made more than 158,000 arrests on the southern border, according to agency data, including people who tried to cross more than once.

DHS intelligence estimates that perhaps 25,000 migrants are already in Mexican shelters just south of the border, waiting for Title 42 to end, Axios reports.

Apprehensions are expected to increase as the warmer months approach, as in previous years.

Arrests at the U.S.-Mexico border reached an all-time high of nearly 1.7 million in fiscal year 2021, Axios reports, and border officials are estimating similar numbers for this fiscal year with the end of Title 42.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas also visited Mexico and Costa Rica this week to discuss migration with government officials, according to CNN.

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Biden administration officials are quietly bracing for a potential influx of more than 170,000 migrants at the southern border when a Trump-era COVID policy that allows for instant expulsions ends, Axios reports.
joe biden, immigration, mexico, us-mexico border, covid-19 pandemic
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2022-11-17
Thursday, 17 March 2022 05:11 PM
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