More than 29,000 migrants are in Customs and Border Protection custody ahead of the expiration of Title 42 on Thursday.
Early Wednesday, Art Del Cueto with the CBP Union described the situation as “beyond catastrophic … unsustainable.”
Over 20,000 migrants were encountered at the southern border on Monday and Tuesday alone.
Ahead of the sunset of Title 42 — the COVID-related order that the U.S. used to expel more than 2.8 million migrants to purportedly slow the spread of the virus — the Biden administration issued a new restriction on asylum seekers. This would make migrants who did not request refugee status in another country first ineligible to do so in the United States. Migrants who are able to land an appointment with the CBP through a proprietary app will be exempt from the new rule.
Migrants who are ruled ineligible will be banned from the U.S. for five years.
“It’s going to be chaotic for a while,” President Biden said Tuesday.
At the same time, the State Department plans to open more than 100 regional processing centers in Latin America for migrants to apply to the U.S. in another attempt to slow unlawful entry.
According to NBC News, the administration is also planning to allow Customs and Border Protection to release some migrants without court dates to prevent overcrowding in facilities. A previous administration order had required migrants who were released to check in on a mobile app until they were given a court date. The new policy would not require them to check in on the app while keeping in contact with ICE.
“As Republican and Democratic administrations alike have done in the past to protect the safety and security of Border Patrol agents and migrants in the event of severe overcrowding conditions, U.S. Border Patrol sectors may consider the use of parole for certain migrants who have undergone strict national security and public safety vetting,” a Department of Homeland Security spokesman told NBC News.
Migrants will be considered on a case-by-case basis, the spokesperson added.
The U.S also sent hundreds of troops to the border to offer support to CBP, but not to interact with migrants.
“We believe we have a robust process to deal with what is going to occur after Title 42 lifts. Again, we’re using the tools that are available to us because Congress refuses to do their job as it relates to the border,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday.
With News Wire Services