(NewsNation) — Homeland Security and U.S. Border Patrol agents scored a major win over the weekend with the discovery of a 1,700-foot tunnel running from Tijuana, Mexico to a border town near San Diego, just a few miles from a border crossing checkpoint.
Agents arrested and charged six people. They’re accused of trafficking more than 1,700 pounds of cocaine through the tunnel. Authorities also seized 164 pounds of meth and three pounds of heroin.
This arrest and seizure comes on the heels on unwelcome news about the number of border encounters for April. Customs and Border Protection said during that month, more than 234,000 migrants came to the southern border.
Between April 1 and 30, the Department of Homeland Security recorded 234,088 encounters with noncitizens — the most in a single month in the department’s history, and a 114 percent jump from April 2019. Of those, 96,908 were expelled under Title 42.
While about half of those encountered were turned away immediately under Title 42 authority, the remainder are going through immigration court proceedings. Those with legitimate claims for asylum will be considered, and those without claims will be removed from the country as long as they don’t fall through the legal cracks.
Title 42, from the 1940s, allows the federal government, as a way of combating disease, to expel some migrants before they have had a chance to apply for asylum. Former President Donald Trump invoked it when the COVID-19 pandemic began, but now that the pandemic is winding down, President Joe Biden wants to end the practice next week.
Texas and Missouri are suing the administration, arguing they are not following proper procedure to end the practice — and adding that Border Patrol would be overrun without it.