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Border Residents and Law Enforcement Brace for When Title 42 Goes Away

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

It's almost like "Groundhog Day," the movie starring Bill Murray, as those living at the U.S.-Mexico border are faced for the second time this year at the prospect of Title 42 no longer being enforced amid a historic influx of illegal crossings.

Title 42, the public health order implemented for illegal crossings at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, is set to expire on December 21 after a federal judge ruling forced the Biden administration to end the practice. Law enforcement and border towns were bracing for Title 42 to go away earlier this year before a federal judge ordered to keep it in place at the last minute, causing confusion and frustration for migrants waiting in Mexico to cross illegally. 

The order allows Border Patrol agents to quickly expel illegal immigrants during a pandemic, and it is what they have been using to remove people from the U.S., though some nationalities have been exempt from being removed under the order as Mexico has refused to accept those nationalities. Migrant advocates say Title 42 violates people's right to seek asylum. With the prospect of Title 42 ending, U.S. officials anticipate up to 18,000 illegal crossings a day, which would be up from the current 6,000 to 8,000 daily crossings.

"The removal of Title 42 will open up the floodgates. Our agencies don't have a realistic plan to deal with the amount of people who will come pouring into the United States. If we had five million illegals enter in the last two years, we predict 10 million in the next two years," a Border Patrol source in the Yuma Sector told Townhall. 

"There will be an immediate surge like that one, followed by an ever-increasing influx of everyone who has been previously excluded from the border 'free for all' by Title 42. Secretary Mayorkas' 'six pillar plan' will only focus on processing people faster and releasing them into the interior of the United States quicker, which for them, is incentivizing them to come to the U.S. and encourage everyone they know to do the same," a second Border Patrol source said. 

"Very few of these people have legitimate asylum claims, and everyone knows it. It's all about overwhelming the asylum system so we're forced to release them to the interior. This is as planned by Biden and Mayorkas, and it is the antithesis of what they're charged to do by the American people, securing our border," the source added. 

In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott (R) declared an invasion over the border crisis prior to the Title 42 news. In addition to ramping up deployments of the National Guard and state troopers, the state will be deploying gunboats to deter people from swimming across the Rio Grande. 

A consequence of the southern border spiraling even more out of control after December could lead to House Republicans being more determined to investigate Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas' handling of the crisis. 

Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) told Townhall that an investigation must take place before an impeachment vote in order to lay out publicly how Mayorkas is part of the problem, saying politics need to be removed as much as possible from the process.

Gonzales represents the largest congressional district along the U.S.-Mexico border. Del Rio and Eagle Pass are towns within his district and are among the busiest sectors for illegal crossings. He also represents part of El Paso County, which has seen a large spike in illegal crossings over the past few months. 

"This isn't a political football to me. My people are living this Hell," Gonzales explained. "Where do the facts lead you...It can't be politics to solve it; you need policy change." 

Gonzales thinks the investigation hearings taking place at the southern border instead of Washington, D.C., will be a game changer and force House Democrats to acknowledge the problem. Gonzales said he hopes Democrats show up because it's their job. If they don't, "they should retire."

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