In a recent interaction with the press, President Biden was asked to comment on the condition of the U.S.-Mexico border following the termination of the pandemic-era Title 42 policy last week.
Biden’s evaluation was optimistic, stating that the situation was “Much better than you all expected” during a bicycle excursion close to his vacation residence in Rehoboth, Delaware.
The President has no immediate plans to visit the border
The president clarified that he had no immediate intentions to visit the border, reasoning that his presence could cause disruption.
These statements came on the heels of the U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ announcement of a 50% reduction in the volume of migrants crossing the border since Thursday.
Homeland Security Secretary says numbers are ‘markedly down’
“Mayorkas, during his appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” informed that “The numbers we have experienced in the past two days are markedly down over what they were prior to the end of Title 42.”
He reported 6,300 border encounters on Friday, dropping to 4,200 on Saturday. However, he also emphasized that drawing conclusions from these initial days post-policy change was premature.
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Diminished border crossings attributed to criminal penalties
Mayorkas attributed the diminishing border crossings to the reactivated criminal penalties for unauthorized entry into the country, resuming with the cessation of Title 42.
The previous policy, implemented during the Trump administration, expedited migrant expulsion without an asylum procedure but did not enforce penalties.
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Biden hopeful for a continued decline in border crossings
President Biden expressed his hopes on Sunday for a continued decline in border crossings but underscored the necessity of additional efforts and congressional support.
In the aftermath of Title 42, the Biden administration has laid out a plan that necessitates migrants to schedule an immigration appointment through a mobile app or seek protection from countries they traversed en route to the U.S. border.
Failure to adhere to this procedure, if caught entering the U.S. illegally, results in a five-year ban on any further attempts to enter, including legal methods. Other violations carry prison sentences.
Border community representatives confirmed that the apprehended migrant numbers fell short of anticipated volumes, raising concerns about overtaxing U.S. border facilities and towns.
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The big flow of migrants ‘is not here yet’
In an interview with CBS News’s “Face the Nation,” Victor Trevino, Laredo, Texas’ mayor’ said, “The amount of migrants we were expecting initially – the big flow – is not here yet.”
Despite these reassurances from the Biden administration, several communities have been grappling with resource constraints due to a recent surge in migrants.
Chicago’s outgoing Mayor, Lori Lightfoot, proclaimed an emergency last week in response to undocumented migrants dispatched to her city by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
New York engaged in legal disputes over asylum seekers
New York City has also been thrown into disarray due to a migrant influx, leading to Mayor Eric Adams clashing with upstate counties over the relocation of asylum seekers, resulting in bitter legal disputes.
The Texas Department of Public has also recently decided to conclude its collaboration with the Austin Police Department temporarily.
Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon informed FOX 7 Austin that the Texas DPS, due to its deployment in border cities, will temporarily halt operations in Austin. The Texas DPS and Austin authorities had been cooperating on violent crime and drug offense investigations.
The importance of border security was underscored by an incident in San Diego where an Afghani on the terror watch list was apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border following an attempted crossing.
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