The Biden administration is planning to send illegal immigrants awaiting immigration proceedings deeper into the United States to deal with the surge in border crossings, according to internal documents obtained by NBC News.
DHS's plan is to use federal funding to send migrants to shelters in Los Angeles, Albuquerque, Houston, and Dallas, according to NBC News.
The DHS Southwest Border Coordination Center, which includes officials from FEMA, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Patrol, and others, is coordinating the effort.
One official with the Biden administration jokingly called the model the "Abbott plan," referring to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in April sending newly arrived migrants to Washington, D.C. on chartered buses.
Abbott called it a "fun way" to get President Joe Biden's attention.
"There will be massive busloads going up there. ... We'll be sending even more people out of the state of Texas up and make the leaders in Washington, D.C., deal with it," he said in April.
The NBC report comes two weeks after senior Department of Homeland Security officials said they were concerned they would not have enough funding and resources to cover the flood of illegal crossings that will almost certainly occur when Title 42 is lifted – they are expecting up to 18,000 per day.
Title 42 is the public health order issued by the Trump administration to prevent the spread of COVID-19. So far under the order, more than 1.8 million migrants have been blocked from entering the U.S. from Mexico since March 2020.
More than 234,088 migrants tried to cross the southern U.S. border in April, topping March's 22-year high of 221,000-plus, according to internal Customs and Border Protection data obtained by NBC.
In April, 96,908 of those migrants were expelled back to Mexico under Title 42. More than 170,000 migrants who have been subjected to Title 42 are reportedly waiting in camps in northern Mexico, hoping to enter the U.S. when the order lifts, DHS officials said.
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