(NewsNation) — The Biden administration is continuing its fight to end the Trump-era immigration policy known as Title 42, part of a 1944 law meant to help control the spread of communicable diseases by barring entry into the U.S. by people coming from a country where a specific disease was present.
During the pandemic, Title 42 meant tens of thousands of migrants were turned away at the border without any investigation of their cases simply because of their countries of origin.\
Now, with the administration trying to end enforcement of the rule, shelters at the border are packed to overflowing with migrants hoping to enter the U.S. when it ends.
Worries are now rising over whether the Border Patrol and the Department of Homeland Security are ready for the surge of migrants at the border. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas predicted that border encounters could rise from more than 7,000 per day now to more than 18,000 when Title 42 ends.
Despite concerns from even fellow Democrats that DHS is unprepared, Mayorkas says his department has a plan. “We’re not projecting 18,000 but what we do in the department is we plan for different scenarios, so we’re ready for anything,” he said.
According to Border Report, most of the shelters in Juarez, Mexico, near the U.S. border are already full and overwhelmed. They’re packed with migrants who were expelled from the U.S. because of Title 42, and who are now waiting for the policy to end so they can reapply for asylum.
While a growing number of Democrats agree with Republicans that Title 42 should remain in place, many Democrats like Sen. Bob Menendez say it has to go. He says Title 42 is a Band-Aid, and the real solution is comprehensive immigration reform. “There’s no permanent adjudication of those who have a right under asylum, and those who do not have a right.”
In the meantime, the shelters remain full, and the Border Patrol and DHS continue to plan for what’s likely to be an unprecedented surge of migrants at the border.