The US. could be just hours away from another wave of mass migration if the Biden administration lifts Title 42, a provision introduced by the Trump administration which border agents have relied on to stave off a crisis during the pandemic.
It comes as a new report shows more than 170,000 migrants are waiting on the Mexican-side of the US-Mexico border to cross and claim asylum should the policy be removed.
Estimates show many of these individuals are as little as hours away from the border – while others planning to migrate are within a few-days trip, an officials familiar with discussions told CNN.
On Wednesday, DHS Deputy Secretary John Tien asked employees “to consider stepping forward to support the DHS Volunteer Force,” citing large numbers of migrants at the southwest border, according to an email seen by Axios. The email seeks general support for U.S. Customs and Border Protection and help with data entry.
Sources spoke to Axios on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal conversations.
White House spokesperson Vedant Patel did not confirm or dispute specifics of Axios’ reporting but said in a statement, “Of course the Administration is doing our due diligence to prepare for potential changes at the border. “
“That is good government in action,” the statement said. “As always is the case this Administration is working every day to provide relief to immigrants, restore order, fairness, and humanity to our immigration system and bring it into the 21st century.”
Recent reports reveal that the administration is leaning toward ending Title 42 entirely, after they were forced to end the practice for unaccompanied minors crossing the border.
The court order notes that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ‘anticipates additional lifting of restrictions’ as DHS becomes increasingly able to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in its facilities.
Every 60 days, the CDC reassess Title 42, and the deadline for the next renewal is in early April, meaning the provisions could end as early as next month.
“As it stands right now, there are no changes: Title 42 is still in effect and anyone attempting to enter the country unlawfully will be subject to border restrictions – including potentially expulsion,” a White House official told Axios. They added: “We continue to defer to the CDC on the use of Title 42 and how long it might remain in effect.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NBC NEWS