President Joe Biden’s administration says we could be facing up to half-a-million illegal immigrants per month being apprehended at the southern border when Title 42 protections are lifted later this month.
But don’t worry, says Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas — they’ve been prepping for this since last fall and, heck, it might not be that high.
In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, the DHS secretary insisted that the system could handle the additional numbers because “we prepare and we plan,” meaning they were “ready for anything.”
(As The Western Journal has been documenting, however, the administration is scarcely prepared for what it’s handling now — and that’s far less than half-a-million illegal immigrants per month. We’ve been pointing out the numerous ways that the Biden White House’s border policy has been a total failure and we’ll continue bringing America the truth. You can help by subscribing.)
As ABC News notes, implementation of Title 42 — a World War II-era section of public health law that allows for the exclusion of individuals from entering the country when the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determines “there is serious danger of the introduction of [a communicable] disease into the United States” — will be allowed to expire by the Biden administration on May 23.
Before the Biden policy was announced in early April, the CDC estimated there would be 18,000 apprehensions at the southern border a day if Title 42 were lifted. That works out to 540,000 a month.
Consider, then, that we set a decades-old record with 221,303 apprehensions at the southern border in March with Title 42 in place. Numbers like that haven’t been seen since March of 2000, when 220,063 apprehensions were made.
Despite this, Mayorkas told CNN that DHS is ready to handle more than twice that number.
“What we do is, we prepare and we plan, and we’ve been doing so for months understanding that the Title 42 authority that the CDC holds is not going to be around forever because, quite frankly, we want to conquer the pandemic and put it behind us,” Mayorkas said on “State of the Union,” according to a transcript.
“Title 42 is a public health authority. So what we started to do in September of last year was prepare for its end.”
In September, NBC News reported Mayorkas had asked high-level DHS officials on a call whether or not authorities were prepared for a “worst-case scenario” of 350,000 to 400,000 apprehensions a month, if Title 42 restrictions were lifted then.
That “worst-case scenario” has gotten quite a bit worse — like, 140,000 illegal immigrant apprehensions a month worse — but Mayorkas says that’s not really a number they’re expecting.
“We’re not projecting 18,000, but what we do in the department is we plan for different scenarios, so we’re ready for anything that might materialize,” Mayorkas said.
“State of the Union” host Dana Bash then noted “it is an estimate that was put out by — as you said, by your department. And I just want to be clear, what you’re telling me is that, because that is a figure, again, that came from you guys, the department is prepared to handle that very large figure if, in fact, that comes to pass, 18,000 migrants per day?”
“It is our responsibility to be prepared for different scenarios. And that is what we are doing,” Mayorkas said.
“And we have incredibly talented and dedicated people. There is no question that if, in fact, we reach that number, that is going to be an extraordinary strain on our system. But we are preparing for it. And 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 to the south.”
Note that’s not Mayorkas saying his department is prepared for that number of apprehensions when Title 42 implementation is ended, just that it’s his department’s responsibility to be prepared for it. There’s a whole lot of difference between those two statements, which is why you’ve seen numerous Democrats and officials on the southern border publicly criticize the administration over its lack of a plan.
It’s also one of the reasons why, as Fox News has reported, 21 states, primarily in the South, are part of a lawsuit against the Biden administration’s plan to lift Title 42 restrictions. The suit was originally filed by three Southern states: Arizona, Louisiana and Missouri,
The DHS hasn’t shown itself to be particularly adept at handling the border crisis with Title 42 in effect; consider the disruption a surge of mostly Haitian migrants caused last summer when they set up an encampment at the border in Del Rio, Texas, in September.
Yet, we’re expected to believe that, in just a period of a few months, the same administration that made a mess of that — and has made a disaster of border policy, in general — is ready for the worst-case scenario.
Mayorkas told ” that his message to migrants now is the same that it was last year: “Do not come.”
I don’t know how many of would-be illegal immigrants make a habit of watching American Sunday morning political chat shows — but if they were, I doubt they were putting a lot of stock in that message.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.