Border Patrol Clears Way for More Migrant Releases to City Streets, Sources Say
Bill Melugin et al., Fox News, May 9, 2023
The Biden administration’s top border officials in Washington, D.C., have decided to authorize all Border Patrol sectors to begin “safe” mass releases of migrants to city streets if non-governmental organizations don’t have the capacity to hold them, multiple sources tell Fox News.
The consequence of this decision is that migrants will be mass released at bus stops, gas stations, supermarkets and in towns and cities across the border as Customs and Border Protection facilities are already over capacity in multiple sectors, according to CBP sources who were not authorized to speak publicly.
NGOs are quickly approaching their limits to house migrants and tens of thousands more migrants are expected to surge into the United States once the Title 42 public health order is lifted on May 11. The city of El Paso, Texas has already seen thousands of migrants camped out on the sidewalks.
The mass releases will only happen if NGOs run out of space, but officials believe that is likely. Officials have made 26,000 apprehensions and seen over 7,000 “gotaways” in just 72 hours, according to Border Patrol. That comes ahead of the end of the Title 42 public health order on Thursday, which is expected to be accompanied by an even bigger wave of migration on top of the already overwhelming numbers authorities are seeing.
“The dam is about to break,” one Border Patrol source said.
Title 42 has been used since 2020 by both the Trump and Biden administration to expel hundreds of thousands of migrants quickly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, nearly half of all migrant encounters ended in a Title 42 expulsion. The order will end on May 11 along with the COVID-19 national emergency.
The predominantly single adult migrants are expected to be encouraged by the belief they have a greater chance of being admitted into the U.S. once the order ends. The Biden administration has said that is misinformation and has warned that it is stiffening penalties for illegal entry while urging migrants to use expanded legal pathways instead. However, the prospect of mass releases into the U.S. interior of those who have illegally entered the U.S., after crossing multiple countries to do so, is likely to undercut that narrative.
Those released into the U.S. are entered into U.S. immigration removal proceedings, but that can often take many years before a final order of removal is issued. Even then, deportations have dropped sharply under the Biden administration as Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) priorities have been narrowed. But officials say that, once Title 42 ends, they will use tools like expedited removal under traditional Title 8 authorities.