McAllen, TX – As Title 42 continues through court proceedings, data from the United States Customs and Border Protection shows undocumented migrants continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border at unprecedented levels.
The Department of Justice announced it will appeal a decision handed down by a federal judge which blocked the Biden Administration from ending Title 42 last week, however the DOJ has not officially filed the appeal.
Title 42 – a health order launched in the Trump administration and continued under the Biden administration – allows the U.S. to turn away undocumented migrants seeking asylum. Once Title 42 expires, the Department of Homeland Security predicts up to 18,000 migrants could cross the border daily.
Title 42 could be delayed in court for months, giving DHS and border towns along the Southwest border more time to prepare for the spike in migrants.
Local, state, and federal resources are partnering to prepare for an influx of migrants. In early May, the Texas National Guard set up new detainment camps and conducted drills along the Rio Grande Valley to send a warning to migrants who cross. The Texas National Guard also set up concertina wire along the Rio Grande to deter migrants from crossing into the United States.
However, undocumented migrants continue to cross the Southwest border at record levels. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Border Patrol has encountered 1,219,920 undocumented migrants so far in 2022. Locals are now asking the federal government for help.
“This is not the neighborhood we want, where we are, where we work,” said Othal Brand, President of Hidalgo County Water Improvement District No. 3. “I think the biggest apprehension everybody had was that it was going to be a situation that no one could handle. You couldn’t get enough buses or planes to get that many people out here.”
According to the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office, it’s just one area known for cartel activity.
“Outside of the city limits outside on the river, where these guys were it’s a totally different environment. Totally different environment. Our men… they’ve been shot at. We’ve pulled at least a dozen bodies out of the river,” Brand said. “We don’t want this to be the norm and it is right now. The only one that’s making this a norm is our federal government.”
Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez invited President Biden to South Texas in early May, prior to the court decision.
“The border issue is a big concern for Americans, it’s a big issue for us who live on the border, and we want it solved,” Judge Cortez said.
In addition to Title 42, Judge Cortez is not only advocating for the federal government to find a faster way for migrants to apply for citizenship legally.
“Our economy needs workers. Our economy needs immigrants, and I think that everybody agrees with us. We want to be selective as to who we bring in. We want to make sure and choose the needs of our economy,” Judge Cortez said. “Why that’s not being done today, I’m not sure.”