(VitalNews.org) – The immigration rule known as Title 42 is set to expire May 11th, and as many predicted, immigrants are showing up at the U.S.-Mexico border in droves.
Title 42 is a public health rule that allows the U.S. to rapidly expel migrants on public health grounds. Beginning with President Trump and continuing under President Biden, border officials have used the COVID-era rule to rapidly turn away millions of immigrants.
U.S. cities along the border and their governments have been warning that an immigrant surge would come as hopeful entrants believe they’ll have an easier time being allowed into the U.S. when the rule expires.
In El Paso, more than 2,000 immigrants are camping or setting up spots on streets near the immigration entry ports. The city is making tentative plans to open shelters in schools and public buildings next week.
The migrant surge is also disrupting everyday life and business in El Paso. The city announced on May 7th that it was suspending streetcar service and closing numerous roads to deal with the overflow.
About 10,000 immigrants are waiting just across the border in Juarez, according to El Paso mayor Oscar Leeser.
Last week, President Joe Biden committed to sending 1,500 U.S. troops to overwhelmed border cities. But the troops will not be directly enforcing the law. Instead, they will be offering administrative and logistical behind-the-scenes support as cities try to bring on contractors to perform these duties.
On May 8th, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he was forming a new “tactical” force along with the National Guard to discourage immigrants, and especially those trafficking people and drugs.
In Brownsville, Texas, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been performing practice exercises in case they need to close a bridge to stop a crowd of immigrants. The agency has been encouraging immigrants to use its “CBPOne” phone app to schedule appointments.
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