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‘It’s going to be total chaos’: Border states prepare for end to Title 42

(NewsNation) — Washington has no immediate solution to the crisis at the southern border and with Title 42 on track to expire in a matter of days, it is likely going to get far worse.

Title 42, the COVID-19-era policy that has prevented hundreds of thousands of migrants from seeking asylum in the U.S. in recent years, is set to expire on Wednesday.

The rule has been used to deter more than 2.5 million migrants from crossing since March 2020.

“We, at every level of government, are doing everything we can to prevent people from coming into the country illegally,” said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. “Or we’re repelling them, we’re arresting them, and putting them behind bars.”

Abbott says resources to handle the influx of migrants are wearing thin.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Texas has spent roughly 4 billion dollars on surging law enforcement to the border in “Operation Lone Star” since last year.

“If the courts are not going to intervene and put a halt to the removal of Title 42,” Abbott said. “It’s going to be total chaos.”

When Title 42 expires, Homeland security expects the number of migrants seeking asylum will rise dramatically on top of already record-shattering numbers.

Border agents encountered nearly 2.4 million migrants at the southern border this year —
averaging nearly 7,500 a day.

There is yet to be an exact figure on how much an increased surge will cost but the Biden administration expects it could be billions.

“The administration has asked congress to fund more than $3 billion to help us provide the resources that will be needed to process migrants, to make sure that people are treated humanely,” said senior White House advisor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

Beyond shelters, motels and local rec centers, some of the migrants are housed in detention centers or jails. The vast majority have no criminal record.

About 30,000 migrants are currently being housed in facilities run by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

All of this is at the government’s expense.

“We know that the influx on Wednesday will be incredible,” said El Paso Mayor Oscar Lesser. “Will be huge.”

On Saturday Lesser declared a state of emergency. The city of Denver has issued an emergency declaration after hundreds of undocumented migrants came to the mile-high city unexpectedly.

“We’re going to run out of capacity to serve them,” said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.

In New York, Mayor Eric Adams requested $1 billion from the federal government to handle migrants there.

In Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser declared an emergency, funneling $10 million in district dollars to create an office of migrant services.

No matter the cost in dollars and cents, Democratic Congresswoman Veronica Escobar, who represents El Paso, says there’s also a human cost that shouldn’t go ignored as migrants seek refuge in the U.S.

“The federal government has addressed immigration as a Congress-only issue,” Escobar said. “We need to zoom out and realize this is a western hemispheric refugee crisis.”