On Sunday, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas admitted in an interview that the department is preparing to see up to 18,000 illegal aliens crossing the border on a daily basis once the Biden Administration formally ends the implementation of Title 42.
As reported by the New York Post, Mayorkas told CNN’s “State of the Union” that while they’re “not projecting 18,000,” they will still “plan for different scenarios, so we’re ready for anything.” But when host Dana Bash asked if the department would even be capable of handling such a staggering amount of illegal border crossings, the secretary admitted that the system currently in place would be under “extraordinary strain.”
“It is our responsibility to be prepared for different scenarios, and that is what we are doing, and we have incredibly talented and dedicated people,” Mayorkas said. “There is no question if in fact we reach that number, that is going to be an extraordinary strain on our system. That is why the plan we have prepared calls for a number of different actions, not just in the domestic arena but also with our partners in the south.”
Title 42 is a public health policy that was implemented during the Trump Administration in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, at the suggestion of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The policy gave border officials broad authority to immediately deport any and all illegals trying to cross the border, under the guise of protecting public health by keeping unvaccinated and unhealthy people out of the country. After it first went into effect in March of 2020, border crossings dropped to their lowest levels in modern history.
However, since the Biden Administration has announced plans to formally end the policy on May 23, numerous reports have confirmed that entirely new waves of illegal caravans are preparing to march to the border to storm the country. The White House’s announcement has led to criticism from across the political spectrum, with Republicans united in opposition to the move while even some Democrats have criticized the decision.
Mayorkas faced some of these criticisms directly during testimony before Congress last week. During the hearing, Mayorkas admitted that Fiscal Year 2021 saw record numbers of “gotaway” encounters at the border, and also noted that March of 2022 saw over 221,000 overall encounters between illegals and border authorities, the highest monthly total since Biden first came to power.