Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas assured the American people on Tuesday during a visit to the Rio Grande Valley that his agency is preparing for the expected influx of illegal immigrants if Title 42 officially goes away next Monday.
While still slated to end on May 23, a judge will make a determination whether Title 42 stays or goes as part of a lawsuit that was filed to keep it in place.
"We are preparing for the end of Title 42 based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decision. That does not mean that the border is open beginning on May 23. We continue to enforce the laws of this country. We continue to remove individuals who do not qualify for relief under the laws of this country," Mayorkas explained.
Mayorkas said once Title 42 is removed, they will be able to put punishments on individuals who illegally cross the southern border and do not qualify for asylum, instead of rapid expulsion that does not carry any penalties.
When a reporter asked what message he hoped to send to migrants with the day's event, Mayorkas said the message is to not trust the smugglers.
"Do not place your lives in the hands of individuals who only seek to exploit your lives for the sake of profit. We are building safe, orderly, inhumane pathways to access the benefits that the law provides and that Congress has passed," he said. "The laws of the border will be enforced. If one does not qualify for relief, one will be removed. The smugglers pedal misinformation."
Reporter: What message do you hope to send to migrants with today's event?— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) May 17, 2022
Mayorkas: Do not trust smugglers.
"The laws of the border will be enforced. If one does not qualify for relief, one will be removed. The smugglers pedal misinformation." pic.twitter.com/mxgLt72EVY
Mayorkas' event in Texas was at the same time DHS officially released the southern border apprehension numbers for the month of April, where Border Patrol encountered over 230,000 illegal immigrants.
"It’s official, Biden created the worst crisis at the border on record – April border encounters are the highest ever recorded by the Department of Homeland Security in a single month. Thanks to Biden’s open borders agenda and his decision to end Title 42, drug smugglers and human traffickers will continue to thrive and American communities are less safe as a result," said Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
Once Title 42 ends, whether next week or in the near future, DHS has estimated they could encounter up to 18,000 illegal border crossers a day, double what Border Patrol is currently dealing with today.