U.S. intelligence officials are bracing for a massive influx of more than 170,000 migrants at the Mexico border if COVID-era policies that allow instant expulsions are ended, Axios reports. The government has created a Southwest Border Coordination Center (SBCC), a war room to coordinate an interagency response. Border officials have used Title 42 more than 1 million times to expel migrants at the southern border without hearing asylum claims.
The Trump-era order wasn't set up to be permanent. Biden officials are preparing for its end as the virus is brought under control. The Department of Homeland Security estimates that 25,000 migrants already are waiting in Mexican shelters just south of the border for Title 42 to end.
On Wednesday, DHS Deputy Secretary John Tien asked employees "to consider stepping forward to support the DHS Volunteer Force," citing large numbers of migrants at the border. Internal discussions have raised alarms that human trafficking networks throughout Mexico and Central America will exploit the situation to "generate a mass migration event."
Officials with several agencies have been meeting to discuss a whole-of-government plan to deal with the potentially record-breaking spring influx of migrants. DHS branded it the Southwest Border Mass Irregular Migration Contingency Plan. The new center will be led by Border Patrol's Matthew Hudak. DHS could request aircraft from the U.S. Marshals Service to help transfer migrants to other areas of the border. They anticipate expanding soft-sided facilities that can shelter up to 2,000 migrants apiece.