DHS Secretary Mayorkas addresses end of Title 42 in Valley visit
In a visit to the Rio Grande Valley, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said plans are in place to respond to the end of a health order that allowed immigration officials to turn away migrants seeking asylum.
It was previously announced that Title 42, which was enacted to control the spread of COVID-19, will end on May 23 - though there’s ongoing litigation to prevent that from happening.
"We recognize that with the end of Title 42, there very well may be an increase surge in migration," Mayorkas said, adding that there's a six point plan to respond to that increase.
The plan, which Mayorkas discussed in McAllen, includes surging personnel and resources, helping nonprofits, sending asylum claims in front of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officers and bringing more criminal charges for people who are crossing illegally.
"We will be increasing the number of criminal prosecutions to meet the challenge because the fact of the matter is there are more cases that warrant criminal prosecution than the cases that are being brought,” Mayorkas said.
Mayorkas was touring the border Tuesday during his Valley visit.
During his visit, a group of 133 migrants were deported under Title 42 in a flight from the Harlingen airport to Guatemala. DHS officials said those flights have been taking off from Harlingen for six months, and that immigration laws will be enforced - whether Title 42 is around or not.
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