DEL RIO, Texas—As the Biden administration prepares to drop the Title 42 public health provision on May 23, Border Patrol agents and local officials along the border are bracing for an even greater influx of illegal immigrants.
“They’re preparing for us to start apprehending over 500,000 a month,” a Border Patrol agent, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions, told The Epoch Times on April 4.
He said agents are expecting to be issued an electronic device into which they can input an illegal alien’s data and biographic information while in the field, before releasing them.
“So really what Border Patrol is now becoming is essentially just a greeter.”
Title 42 is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) order that was invoked in March 2020 under President Donald Trump to minimize the spread of COVID-19 by ensuring that only essential travel occurred at U.S. borders.
It directed that illegal immigrants could be quickly expelled back into Mexico as a pandemic precaution, rather than be processed under Title 8 immigration law, which is a much more protracted process inside the United States.
Since March 2020, more than 1.7 million illegal immigrants have been expelled under the Title 42 authority, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data. During the same period, just over 1.1 million were placed into Title 8 proceedings.
Since February 2021, however, Title 42 has slowly been whittled down—first to allow in all unaccompanied children, then families with children under the age of 7, then, most families in general, most single females, and then, single adults from non-Spanish-speaking countries.
In February 2021, 73 percent of illegal immigrants were expelled under Title 42. By February 2022, it had been reduced to 55 percent.
“We’re already releasing most [illegal aliens]—even single males—from anywhere in the world,” the Border Patrol agent said.