Title 42 allowed border patrol agents to turn migrants away at the border, including those seeking asylum. It was designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and was set to expire on Wednesday.
States along the border have been bracing for an influx of migrants amid fears there aren’t enough resources to handle the increase, especially as much of the country is being hit by winter storms causing dangerously cold temperatures.
Claudia Rodriguez, city representative for El Paso, Texas, said Title 42 was a temporary solution for immigration issues and even if it is extended, it might be too late as people are already preparing to cross the border.
“Because all these people are coming. There’s no stopping them. And all it’s going to do is push the problem over to our sister city and see that what is which then themselves are also overwhelmed,” she told NewsNation.
The number of crossings means people are left without shelter even in cold weather.
“They’re coming here and they’re sleeping out on our streets. They’re sleeping at our airport. And it’s something that is completely unsustainable,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez called on the federal government to act and reform immigration policy, noting that right now it’s states and cities shouldering the burden of sheltering migrants who cross into the U.S.
“While we have been for historically a city of immigrants, this is something completely different. This is something that we have never seen before to this magnitude,” she said.