Texas border towns fear massive new surge in illegal crossings

(The Center Square) – As many as 100,000 migrants are waiting in Mexico to cross into the U.S. any day now, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott warned Monday as officials await fallout from the Biden administration’s plan to end Title 42 enforcement.

The Trump-era health order allowed border agents to quickly expel illegal immigrants during a public health emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Cntrol and Prevention announced it would end the authority effective Monday. A federal judge in Louisiana on Friday blocked that plan, and ordered the Biden administration to continue enforcing Title 42.

“There are maybe as many as 100,000 migrants who are across the border waiting to cross into the state of Texas,” Abbott said during a news conference in Eagle Pass Monday afternoon. “And we as a state – ‘we’ being the local communities that are represented here in this room today – they’re all dealing with the enormous challenge of having a tidal wave of people come into the communities.”

The migrants began gathering near the border in anticipation of the end of Title 42 enforcement. Despite the judge’s ruling on Friday, state and local officials are not sure it will deter the mass of migrants from crossing.

“Right now, we haven’t seen any major movements of those across the border as we were anticipating with the elimination of Title 42,” Texas Department of Public Safety Col. Steve McCraw said. “But we’ll continue to monitor that and work with our federal partners or at least our local partners across the river.”

Since President Joe Biden took office, an estimated 2.5 million people have entered the U.S. illegally even with Title 42 in place.

Due to widespread nonenforcement of immigration laws by the administration, the number of people entering illegally continues to break new records nearly every month.

Last month, more than 234,000 people were encountered entering the U.S. illegally, the greatest number in a single month in recorded U.S. history. That’s a 1,376% increase from the 17,106 encounters reported in April 2020 under the Trump administration.

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