The Mexican government warned last week that human traffickers are already preparing for the imminent expiration of U.S. Code Title 42 Section 265 expulsions on Thursday.
According to Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, smugglers, known as "coyotes," are charging migrants up to $7,000 by deceptively telling them that crossing the border is legal when the COVID-era policy is rescinded.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is now encouraging those potential illegal immigrants to the United States to utilize the proper legal channels by applying for a visa from their country of origin instead.
"This will help a lot so that migration flows do not increase based on misinformation," Obrador said.
However, Obrador struck an optimistic tone Friday on the Biden administration's plan to end Title 42, which permits the government to remove individuals from a country where a contagious disease is present.
"We think migrant flows will not increase because another option, an alternative, is opening up," Obrador stated, alluding to a new program that allows up to 360,000 Venezuelans, Haitians, Cubans, and Nicaraguans to request humanitarian parole in the U.S.
Experts disagree with the Biden administration and the Mexican government's assurance that the U.S. is not gearing up for an explosion of illegal border crossings.
Mario D'Agostino, a deputy city manager in El Paso, Texas, told The Wall Street Journal earlier this month that an estimated 35,000 migrants in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, are believed to be waiting to cross in.
Other officials nationwide have estimated illegal crossings will double to 10,000 or 11,000 a day in the coming weeks, The Journal noted.
The administration also appears to be floundering in its initial confidence, planning to deploy 1,500 U.S. service members to the southern border for support roles this week.
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