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Migrant Expelling Policy Likely to End May 23, Border Rush Expected

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to end the use of Title 42, a pandemic-era public health policy used by both the Trump and Biden administrations to rapidly expel migrants at the border, by May 23. U.S. officials have been bracing for the policy's end, which could fuel already rising numbers at the border. The government has readied a sweeping contingency plan, preparing for a worse-case scenario of up to 18,000 migrants being taken into custody each day, Axios reports. The CDC cited the decreased risk that migrants would contract or spread COVID-19 in detention facilities.. Border Patrol chief Raul Ortiz said migrant apprehensions may reach 1 million in the coming days, just halfway through the federal fiscal year.

The Homeland Security Department is preparing for the possibility of three escalating scenarios once Title 42 is ended. Border officials now are taking into custody an average of 7,000 migrants a day. The most extreme scenario would involve a massive 12,000–18,000 migrant encounters every day. Those would likely include some of the roughly 25,000 people in Mexican shelters DHS intelligence believes have been waiting to cross as soon as Title 42 is lifted. The CDC's Title 42 order was first issued under former President Trump in March 2020, using the pandemic as a reason for turning back migrants attempting to enter the U.S. without the chance to seek asylum. Republicans as well as Democratic Texas Reps. Henry Cuellar and Vicente Gonzalez this week asked federal officials to keep the policy in place out of concern that DHS is unprepared to handle a potential rush of people to the border.


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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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