The head of the Border Patrol union says that drug cartels will seize “complete control” of the southern border once a Trump-era public health order to expel illegal immigrants is allowed to expire on May 23.
He said the Border Patrol system is running out of capacity as overwhelmed border agents will be largely held up by processing asylum-seeking illegal immigrants, either refereeing their claims or expelling them back to their home countries.
“When you look right now, we already start our shifts with 50 percent of our resources not even performing enforcement activities," Judd said. "They're in administrative duties. Once this explodes, we're going to have nearly 100 percent of our people doing administrative duties rather than enforcement duties.
“That's going to give complete control to the cartels. That's a scary situation to be in.”
Judd was referring to Title 42, a COVID-19-era policy implemented during the Trump administration in March 2020 to quickly expel illegal immigrants on public health grounds. The measure has so far blocked more than 1.7 million illegal aliens at the U.S.–Mexico border in the past two years, yet is set to expire on May 23 under President Joe Biden, given that public health conditions have changed.
According to a May 16 court document filing, U.S. border officials encountered more than 234,000 illegal immigrants at the U.S.–Mexico border in April, with 96,908 of them being deported back to Mexico under Title 42.
It topped March’s 22-year high of slightly more than 221,000 illegal immigrants and marked the fourth time that monthly border encounters have topped 200,000 under Biden.
The border crisis “clearly began” at the time Biden took office in January 2021, according to Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.).
“That does not mean that the border is open beginning on May 23,” Mayorkas said. “We continue to enforce the laws of this country. We continue to remove individuals who do not qualify for relief under the laws of this country.”
U.S. District Judge Robert Summerhays, a Trump appointee, had earlier granted a temporary restraining order blocking the administration from terminating the Title 42 emergency border powers.
The Biden administration has requested the federal judge to make a decision on the lawsuit by May 20 “to avoid uncertainty that could pose operational challenges,” according to judicial notice.
Department of Homeland Security and the White House officials didn't respond to requests for comment by press time.