Border sheriff: ‘It was time for Title 42 to go’

  • Many US leaders worried of a possible migrant surge once Title 42 ended
  • Sheriff Thaddeus Cleveland says: ‘It was time for Title 42 to go’
  • Cleveland says border towns need manpower and tech to protect the border

(NewsNation) — Terrell County, Texas, is no stranger to migrants crossing the border. Last year, 7,400 undocumented immigrants were arrested there. While many U.S. leaders worried of a potentially massive migrant surge in Texas border towns once Title 42 expired, Sheriff Thaddeus Cleveland believes it was time for the pandemic-era policy to end.

“It was time for Title 42 to go. Title 42 was meant for COVID times to protect our agents and our communities. It was time for us to get back to Title 8 and have consequences for those illegally entering our country,” Cleveland told NewsNation Prime host Natasha Zouves.

Title 42 allowed U.S. officials to turn away migrants in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. With Title 42 now out of the mix, the U.S. is relying heavily on Title 8.

Under Title 8, migrants can apply for legal pathways to enter the U.S. The policy can give migrants more time to file asylum claims but can also lead to deportation in some instances.

Authorities anticipated an influx of migrants once Title 42 lifted, but Customs and Border Protection told NewsNation that agents apprehended roughly 6,300 migrants Friday and 4,300 on Saturday. In the days leading up to the policy expiration, apprehension numbers were reportedly at roughly 10,000 for three days straight.

Cleveland says the border crisis is “moving in the right direction, but we’re far from this being done.” He expects the number of crossings to spike until immigration laws are updated.

“Where I’m at, the 92 miles of border we have, 54 here in the county, we don’t have a port of entry. So people that cross here are trying to abscond. They’re trying to enter our country illegally, without being detected and without being apprehended, so we’re still at that same level of activity,” Cleveland said.

Cleveland explained that as the Texas county with the third largest amount of border with Mexico, Terrell County does not have the resources they need.

“We only have about 50 agents patrol that piece of border. We’ve got two deputies here at the sheriff’s office, one of those being myself. Then, we have two Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens. We have one Department of Public Safety trooper,” Cleveland said.

He said if the county wanted operational control of the border, they would need a couple hundred law enforcement officers, as well as new technology and the infrastructure to effectively patrol.

Border Report

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