On Thursday night, a federal judge blocked the Biden administration from implementing a policy that would have allowed the Customs and Border Protection officials to release migrants currently in custody without a court date, if containment facilities were overcrowded. On Thursday, the CBP said they are already near capacity after this week’s surge has 27,000 people in custody, about 60% of whom are single adults.
The judge’s restraining order on the policy is to last two weeks and comes as tens of thousands of migrants stream across the border seeking asylum. At midnight, the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas released this statement:
“The border is not open. Starting tonight, people who arrive at the border without using a lawful pathway will be presumed ineligible for asylum.”
The Border Patrol Union says their calls for help from the federal government has gone unanswered for years under this administration leading up to this week.
Meantime, marines from Camp Lejeune are in Texas this week to help the U.S. Border Patrol with the historic surge of illegal immigration ahead of Title 42 expiring Thursday at midnight. North Carolina’s Sens. Thom Tillis and Ted Budd are demanding action from the Biden administration as the situation seems to be spiraling out of control.
The U.S. Border Patrol is reporting that this week, 10,000 people per day are coming through the nation’s southern border. The surge of illegal immigration has nonprofits, law enforcement, and military troops bracing for the expiration of Title 42, a Trump-era COVID policy that allowed Border Patrol agents to turn back millions of illegal immigrants trying to enter the U.S.
More than 1,500 active-duty troops are headed south from North Carolina to help with logistics and processing. The 2nd Marine Regiment and Combat Logistics Battalion from Camp Lejeune left for Texas on Wednesday. Budd is also part of a delegation of lawmakers headed to Brownsville, Texas, on Thursday.
“Since President Biden took office, there have been more than 5 million illegal crossings,” Budd said in a press conference Thursday. “That’s the most in U.S. history. But in addition to that, 1.4 million known getaways. In addition to that, all of the unaccounted for unknown got-aways– including terrorists, human traffickers, and other bad actors that are taking advantage of the open southern border. I talk with sheriffs from all over North Carolina’s 100 counties, and many of them came up to me saying the same thing: Every single county in North Carolina is now a border county because of Joe Biden’s policies.”
Starting Friday, the Biden administration implements a new policy in place of Title 42 that denies asylum to some of those coming illegally across the southern border. The rule would make people ineligible for asylum if they passed through another country on their way to the U.S. and did not claim asylum or seek protection in that country.
In a visit to Brownsville last week, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced the new policy and claimed that the Mexican government had agreed to set up border security at their border with the U.S. The Mexican Department of Defense told the media that they did not have any information about plans to set up security in Mexico.
Myorkas spoke on Thursday, trying to calm the public and encourage people to let the new policy work. He also urged migrants not to try to come to the U.S.
“We are already seeing high numbers of encounters in certain sectors,” he said. “This places an incredible strain on our personnel, our facilities, and our communities with whom we partner closely.”
In a joint statement last week, White House representatives and Mexican government leaders announced that, even though Title 42 is expiring, the U.S. humanitarian parole program will continue accepting Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans migrants. The United States also agreed to accept 100,000 people from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras under a family reunification program.
Tillis calls for action
Last week, Tillis filed a bill with Sen. Krysten Sinema, I-AZ, that would be a replacement for Title 42, but Congress has not taken it up.
“The Biden Administration simply has no plan. They’re still unprepared for the expiration of Title 42, and it’s time for Congress to step in,” he said in a video statement released on Thursday. “Our bill provides the administration with two-year expulsion authority to quickly expel illegal immigrants. It mirrors Title 42, with the only major difference being it’s not dependent on a public health emergency. Right now, tens of thousands of migrants are literally lined up at the border waiting to enter our country the moment Title 42 expires. They know they’ll get to stay here instead of being quickly expelled.”
Tillis and nine members of the Senate Judiciary Committee also sent a letter urging Chairman Dick Durbin, D-IL, to ask Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, former Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, and White House Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice to testify before the Committee on the Biden Administration’s placement of unaccompanied migrant children with what they described as “exploitative” sponsors, including those engaged in child labor trafficking. A recent investigation published by the New York Times alleges that the Biden Administration ignored reports of labor trafficking involving thousands of migrant children.
fed lost track of 85,000 migrant children
In a recent visit to the border, Carolina Journal learned from U.S. Border Patrol agents that about 70,000 children have come into the country illegally without an adult family member since January of 2023. In all of 2022, just over 152,000 unaccompanied minors were processed by border patrol agents. Those numbers are up from 33,000 unaccompanied minors in 2020. Since 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has lost track of more than 85,000 minors who were processed, given a court date, and turned over to a sponsor. DHHS says the addresses and phone numbers given by those sponsors have proven to be non-working or non-existent.
The congressional Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs held a hearing in April, attempting to get an answer about those unaccounted-for children, but was not able to get information from Biden administration officials.
Title 42 expires at midnight on Thursday, May 11, 2023, with the new Biden administration policy expected to taking effect on Friday.
This story was updated on Friday May 12, 2023.