On a flight into Mexico, troopers showed hundreds of makeshift camps along the border. According to Texas DPS, tents have housed migrants waiting for Title 42 to end before crossing the border.
Title 42, launched by the Trump administration near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, has continued under the Biden administration. The order has allowed the U.S. government to turn away migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border for the last two years, including those seeking asylum.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced it planned to end Title 42 Monday because COVID-19 cases have dropped in recent months. But a federal court in Louisiana temporarily blocked the decision Friday.
According to Texas DPS, large groups are still waiting at the U.S. border for the Biden administration to lift Title 42.
“We know that there’s thousands that are waiting in Mexico right now along the border. We know that there’s potential caravans making their way to the border as well because they are preparing for Title 42,” said Chris Olivarez, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety.
During the ride-along, troopers told Fox News the camps extended across the entire U.S. border, and the tents essentially have served as waiting rooms to cross into the United States.
The makeshift campsites are housing migrants from dozens of countries, including Haiti, Venezuela, Cuba and Russia.
“We don’t know who these individuals are, what their backgrounds are, what their intentions are, where they’re going to end up. So that’s why we work closely with Border Patrol,” Olivarez said.
According to Texas DPS officials, the border surge is already beginning. Some border towns in Texas are now considering a state of emergency as thousands of migrants begin overwhelming shelters in El Paso.
That city announced Wednesday that officials were asking the mayor to sign an emergency declaration in order to collect money and resources from state and federal governments. The city council is expected to vote on it next week.
“We are extremely grateful to all our partners, including the NGOs, the county, state and federal leaders who understand the extraordinary collaborative lift that is required,” Deputy City Manager Mario D’Agostino said in a statement.
While the future of Title 42 is still unclear, Department of Homeland Security projections estimate up to 18,000 illegal immigrants could cross the border daily if the order is lifted.
Regardless of what happens next in court, Texas DPS officials are prepared.
“We need to focus on border security to focus on those individuals that are coming across, the drugs that are pouring into the country, fentanyl and others pouring into the country that’s killing thousands of Americans throughout the year,” Olivarez said.