A Trump-era pandemic policy that allowed authorities to quickly expel migrants at the U.S. border is set to expire Thursday night. The end of Title 42 comes as the federal government officially ends the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Border states, including California, are preparing for the influx of migrants seeking asylum. As of Tuesday, hundreds of migrants were already gathered at the border in San Ysidro. Many of them arrived with injuries, as they were forced to flea violence in their home countries.
Border Patrol has set up a pop-up tent near the Otay Mesa Port of Entry for overflow processing. It can shelter around 500 people per day.
The Biden Administration has been preparing for the end of Title 42 for over a year, as have local officials. In February, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved the development of a comprehensive plan to respond to the rush of asylum seekers anticipated as a result of Title 42’s end.
In addition, “county officials have been meeting with other agencies and service providers and prepared a list of unused and underused properties that may be used to build out shelter infrastructure,” Voice of San Diego reports.
To assist, the Biden administration is sending 1,500 more troops to the southwest border. But local officials say more help is needed.
In a December letter to the Biden administration, San Diego County Supervisor Joel Anderson said it “is unfair for our local governments and communities to shoulder this burden without the federal assistance required to do so.”
San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria echoed the calls for more assistance this week.
“The City will continue to support the County, which is developing a plan to address impacts on our communities,” Gloria said in a statement to FOX 5. “I have met directly with Customs and Border Protection in Washington D.C. and in San Diego to articulate the City’s concern that we simply don’t have the resources to address an influx of migrants and need significant support to address the looming crisis at the Southwestern border. Ultimately, the only real solution is for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform that constructively addresses this issue and ends this cycle of crises that have a profound impact on American cities.”