Massive group of 1,000 illegal immigrants hits southern border, as end to Title 42 nears

An enormous group of over 1,000 illegal immigrants, primarily from Venezuela, crossed into the U.S. and turned themselves over to Border Patrol agents on Wednesday afternoon — less than two months before the Title 42 expulsion authority is due to end. El Paso Border Patrol Chief Anthony Good announced the mass apprehension, which have become relatively commonplace during the ongoing migrant crisis now into its third year. There were more than 1.7 million migrant encounters at the border in FY 2021, followed by more than 2.3 million in FY 2022. FY 2023 has so far been on track to outpace that record number, but numbers have dipped in the last two months. However, traffic is expected to surge when Title 42 — which allows for the rapid removal of migrants at the border due to the COVID-19 pandemic — ends on May 11 along with the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Officials had previously predicted encounters of up to 14,000 a day back in December when the order had been previously scheduled to end. SEN. KENNEDY SURPRISES MAYORKAS BY INTERRUPTING TESTIMONY FOR SHOULDER PAT, HANDSHAKE AFTER TENSE EXCHANGE Instead, in January the Biden administration expanded Title 42 to include Venezuelans, Cubans, Haitians and Nicaraguans who had previously been exempt from the order. The measures allowed up to 30,000 migrants to be removed to Mexico, while also implementing a humanitarian parole program which allows 30,000 a month to fly in if they have not entered illegally and passed other checks. Chief Good noted that Title 42, as well as the agency’s typical authorities under Title 8 are still in place. “USBPs authority to expel migrants under Title 42 & place migrants under Title 8 removal proceedings has NOT changed,” he said. TEXAS SEN. CORNYN TEARS INTO MAYORKAS OVER FENTANYL, BORDER CRISIS: ‘YOU SHOULD BE FIRED’  The apprehensions come after a number of testy hearings for DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who was grilled by Republicans in both chambers this week over the ongoing crisis — which they attribute to the policies of the administration. Mayorkas urged Congress to provide additional funding, including for border technology and additional staffing, while defending his agency’s handling of the crisis — which officials have said is a hemisphere-wide challenge. CUBAN MIGRANTS FLY HANG GLIDER INTO FLORIDA AIRPORT ONLY TO BE ARRESTED AFTER SAFE LANDING He has also noted that the administration has recently proposed a rule which would make migrants automatically ineligible for asylum if they had crossed into the U.S. illegally and had failed to claim asylum in a country through which they already passed. Left-wing critics had dubbed the rule a rehash of the Trump administration’s “transit ban.” Mayorkas has rejected that narrative, saying that since the presumption of ineligibility is rebuttable, it is therefore not a ban. Mayorkas also had to fend off questions about Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz’s comments that the agency does not have operational control of the border. Mayorkas has claimed that “operational control” as defined by statute has not been attained by any administration.
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