Biden administration braces for surge in migrants as Title 42 ends

·3 min read

One of the most controversial border policies has officially ended.

The COVID-era policy “Title 42″ expired at midnight.


As this policy ends, migrants arriving at the southern U.S. border will find new rules making it harder to apply for asylum.

Title 42 allowed U.S. officials to quickly expel most migrants at the border without allowing asylum claims.

President Joe Biden said it would be chaotic at the border for a while.

“The purpose of what we’re doing now is making legal immigration more streamlined, illegal immigration shorter term and moving in a direction that people know that there’s a legal way to get here and a not an illegal way,” Biden said.

Video: Gov. DeSantis signs bill to crackdown on illegal immigration in Florida.

Around 10,000 migrants have crossed the border a day this week alone, according to border patrol authorities.

Republicans stood united against the Biden administration’s immigration policies on Thursday.

“The chaos on our southern border continues to accelerate,” said Sen. James Lankford (R-OK). “This administration has not done what it needed to do.”

Read: Advocates to denounce new illegal immigration bill signed in Florida

Blas Nuñez-Neto, Acting Assistant Secretary for Border and Immigration Policy for the Biden administration, said that they are enforcing the laws that Congress has enacted at the border, and those laws give people the right to claim asylum,

“We are seeing historic flows of people to the border from countries that we are not used to seeing. Historically, migration has been from Mexico and the northern triangle countries. Today we are seeing thousands of Venezuelans, Colombians, Peruvians, Ecuadorians, Brazilians, and our immigration system and our laws were not created to really handle these kinds of flows,” Nuñez-Neto said. “I would say to people that they should write their members of Congress and ask them to get serious about reforming our broken immigration system.”

Read: Some federal charges against Rep. George Santos have ties to Central Florida

In response to the end of Title 42, the Biden administration announced a new asylum policy that essentially bars migrants who passed through another country to seek asylum in the U.S.

It’s a change that is facing backlash from immigration rights supporters.

“With this final rule, the Biden administration has officially abandoned its commitment and obligation to rebuild the U.S. asylum system and uphold our country’s historic commitment to offer refuge to people fleeing persecution,” said National Immigrant Justice Center Executive Director Mary Meg McCarthy in a statement.

Nuñez-Neto said the administration is not breaking Biden’s campaign promise to restore asylum.

“The previous administration implemented a total bar on people who transited through third countries. What we are doing is substantially different because our regulation essentially creates a presumption of ineligibility that migrants can overcome,” Nuñez-Neto added, " We are committed to expanding lawful pathways and access to the United States for people who may wish to seek asylum, but there has to be consequences for unlawful entry.”

Read: WATCHDOG: FEMA needs to address staffing shortages; ‘something bad could happen at any point’

The Biden administration said it’s up to Congress to pass immigration reform legislation to develop a long-term solution to address the crisis at the border.

But both parties remain strongly divided over the solution to address immigration reform.

House Republicans are taking up a bill that would bring back the border wall construction and tighten asylum eligibility, among other changes. Still, President Biden has said he would not support that measure.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.