The Border Patrol has seen a 50% drop in migrant encounters at the southern border in the two days following the expiration of Title 42, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said.
In interviews Sunday, Mayorkas declared the numbers of encounters had dropped to about 6,300 on Friday and 4,200 on Saturday — down from a record high of 10,000 a day early last week — but added it was too early to say if the trend would hold.
"[O]ver the past two days, the United States Border Patrol has seen an approximately 50% drop in the number of people encountered at our southern border as compared to the numbers earlier this week before Title 42 came to an end midnight on Thursday," Mayorkas said on ABC's "This Week" and repeated the assertion on CNN's "State of the Union," Bloomberg reported.
The entries were mirrored by a relative calm in El Paso, Texas, which has had surges of asylum seekers from Central and South America and the Caribbean passing through neighboring Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, for weeks ahead of the pandemic era expiration, the news outlet noted.
Republicans have repeatedly sounded the alarm that the end of Title 42 — a public health measure that restricted migrants during the COVID-19 pandemic — would trigger more crossings.
"The problem is the way Mayorkas and those guys have done it, with catch and release and you know, not deporting people, and all the things they've done to encourage people to come into the country is basically making the problem of migration worse," House Homeland Security Committee Chair Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., said on "State of the Union," Bloomberg reported.
Mayorkas insisted the White House had "been preparing for this transition for months and months, and we've been executing on our plan accordingly," describing those preparations as "very straightforward: There is a safe, lawful and orderly way to reach the United States."
Late on May 11, a federal judge in Florida temporarily blocked the Biden administration from allowing certain migrants to enter the country while they await immigration proceedings, derailing one of the administration's tactics to alleviate overcrowding in border facilities, The Hill noted. The action came, however, after many migrants were already on their way to the United States.
On Saturday in New York City, Mayor Eric Adams announced the city's first arrival center for asylum seekers, who were to be put up in an old hotel in Manhattan.
"We don't anticipate a slowdown," Fabien Levy, a spokesperson for Adams told Bloomberg, adding the city has been getting hundreds of asylum seekers a day before Title 42's expiration, adding that since the spring, New York has taken in more than 65,000 asylum seekers as of May 10, with 39,400 still under the city's care.
Fran Beyer is a writer with Newsmax and covers national politics.
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