Texas Deploys Border Guards Amid Temporary Title 42 Enforcement

(CNN) — The Biden administration continues to prepare for the end of a Trump-era border restriction, even after the chief justice temporarily paused the end of the program.

The Biden Government told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that judges should reject an emergency offer from a group of GOP-led states to keep the controversial Trump-era border restriction known as Title 42 in place while legal challenges are resolved.

But he also asked the court to delay the end of Title 42 until at least December 27, citing ongoing preparations for an influx of migrants and the upcoming holiday weekend.

The administration said states, led by Arizona, have no legal right to challenge the opinion of a federal district court that struck down the program and ordered its termination on Wednesday.

The White House had spent Monday preparing for the end of the program at midnight Wednesday, in accordance with a lower court order. Border officials were grateful for the brief pause on Title 42 completion, but were proceeding with planning anyway, two senior US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials said. in English) to CNN.

“Everyone breathes a sigh of relief, even if temporarily,” an official said Monday night.

Migrants in Honduras insist on continuing on their way to the US. 2:17

CBP officers along the US-Mexico border were on regular phone calls over the weekend preparing for the early end of Title 42 and have been working with the Mexican government to try to stop the flow. of migrants, added the official.

In the Del Rio sector, for example, officials predicted that the number of migrant encounters could double from 1,700 a day to 3,500 a day when Title 42 ends, straining stretched resources in a remote area of ​​the border.

Despite Monday’s decision, the administration is moving forward with the plans.

“We carry on as if nothing has changed,” said one of the officials, adding that political discussions are still ongoing to provide other legal avenues for the Nicaraguans, Haitians and Cubans who make up a large number of migrant encounters.

Analysis: Current Immigration Crisis and Title 42 4:44

As for what happens this Wednesday if the expiration remains on hold, one official said there may be a “mini surge.”

“I think there are some who probably haven’t gotten the message and won’t until they cross,” the official said. “There are some already committed to crossing.”

Inside the White House, the pause on termination will have no effect on what has been intense behind-the-scenes preparations for the end of the authority, according to a White House official.

Although the Department of Homeland Security is the lead agency on this issue, it has been a central issue for the past several weeks within the West Wing, with senior White House officials playing a significant role in internal debates over policy options to deal with. to an expected increase in migrants at the border. There are no plans to slow down the ongoing effort, the official said, given the possibility that any delays will only be brief in nature.

“We have always been aware of the role that the courts play in this process, but it is not something that changes the approach,” the official said.

Texas deploys border guards

The humanitarian situation on the Mexican side of the border has become urgent: thousands and thousands of migrants arriving waiting for the end of Title 42.

Non-profit organizations in the area have told CNN that the migrants, mostly from Venezuela and Haiti, are living on the streets, in abandoned houses and on the sidewalks, describing a chaotic scene in which people can be seen mothers with hungry and sick children.

In response to the backlog of migrants on the Mexican side of the border, the Texas government is taking its own steps to prepare for a potential surge.

Early Tuesday morning, CNN saw a deployment of National Guard agents along the southern border in El Paso, Texas. The mobilization along the El Paso-Ciudad Juárez border appears to be part of Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star, a border security mission implemented last year.

For more than a year, Abbott has deployed state resources to the US-Mexico border, including members of the National Guard. The move was an affront to the Biden administration and drew widespread criticism for militarizing the border. It also fueled frustrations among Guard members.

Sgt. Jason Archer of the Texas Department of Military Public Affairs told CNN that “the chain link fence that has been put up is temporary” and will remain “indefinitely.” Archer said he was placed “in support of law enforcement” and not done in conjunction with US Border Patrol.

The National Guard typically performs a support role and notifies US Border Patrol if it finds migrants so agents can pick them up. Last year in Del Rio, military Humvees were stationed along the border at observation points with soldiers assigned to them to monitor activity.

During the Haitian surge last September, Abbott similarly positioned vehicles to try to prevent crossings.

In a news release Monday, the Texas Military Department said more than 400 Texas National Guardsmen “will be ready for the mission” to help with the migrant situation near the El Paso border.

“Four C-130J cargo planes are expediting the movement of soldiers and equipment to El Paso as part of the governor’s enhanced border security effort,” the statement said. “The 400-plus-strong force will be mission-ready in El Paso Monday afternoon.”

The Texas Military Department also said the surge in National Guard members at the border is “in response to the high levels of illegal border crossings over the past week and the pending expiration of Title 42.”

After the Texas National Guard increased its presence along the border, Democratic El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego lamented the guard’s building fences and installing barbed wire along the border.

“That’s not their job and my concerns are coming true. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t coordinated with Border Patrol. I’ve always insisted that any aid from the state has to be part of our overall strategy and in line with our own enforcement strategy,” the county judge told CNN.

“I was very explicit from the beginning that we needed humanitarian support from the State and that any law enforcement action like this be coordinated through Chief Jáquez,” added Samaniego, referring to the head of the Border Patrol’s El Paso sector. American, Peter Jaquez. CNN has contacted US Customs and Border Protection for comment.

Uncertainty and concern across the country as the Supreme Court deliberates

The sense of urgency surrounding ending Title 42, and the uncertainty injected into the process by Roberts’ temporary hiatus, is causing consternation among state and local officials across the country.

New York Democratic Mayor Eric Adams said his administration is monitoring the potential surge along the southern border in response to the end of Title 42 and how Roberts’ temporary hiatus may affect New York City.

“We continue to closely monitor the Title 42 situation and will wait to hear more from the Supreme Court,” Adams said in a statement. “But regardless of the outcome, New York City has received 800 asylum seekers in just the last four days and it’s time for our state and federal partners to act.

We need financial resources to continue serving the tens of thousands of people we currently care for and all who continue to arrive every day.”

New York City is expected to receive a substantial portion of a newly created $800 million batch of federal aid aimed at providing relief to cities that have been overwhelmed by asylum seekers, a source told CNN. close to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. The additional funding is expected to be included in the general spending bill that Congress must pass before the end of the year.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Food and Shelter (EFSH) Humanitarian Program reimburses cities that provide food, shelter, transportation, basic healthcare and other necessities to asylum seekers . Schumer negotiated an increase in the EFSH fund from the original $150 million to the current $800 million, despite opposition from the Republican Party, according to the source.

New York City will be able to access these funds, though the exact dollar amount it will receive is unknown, and will remain eligible for additional funding from other grants, the source said. The funds will also help CBP, allowing it to process asylum seekers more quickly, and will support construction and expansion of drop-in centers that should address capacity issues, especially in New York, the source added.

The GOP-led coalition of states asked Roberts to overturn a decision by the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit that refused to block an end to Title 42, citing its own concerns about increased crossing illegal on the southern border.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who led the initiative on behalf of the states, said in a statement Monday that “getting rid of Title 42 will recklessly and needlessly endanger more Americans and immigrants by exacerbating the catastrophe that is unfolding.” is taking place on our southern border,” adding: “Illegal crossings are estimated to increase from 7,000 a day to 18,000.”

Brnovich had told the judges in court papers that they should suspend the lower court’s ruling. Alternatively, he said judges should grant an “immediate” temporary injunction to maintain the status quo and also consider whether to bypass the appeals court and agree to hear arguments on the merits themselves.

“Not granting a stay here will inflict enormous irreparable damage on states, especially since states bear many of the consequences of illegal immigration,” Brnovich argued.

Roberts is likely to refer the matter to the full court after the government submits its response on Tuesday. The short order from the Chief Justice indicated that he wanted to act quickly.

— Vogue’s Ariane, Rosa Flores, David Culver, Gloria Pazmino, Phil Mattingly, Ed Lavandera, Ashley Killough, Rebekah Riess, Mark Morales and Kevin Liptak contributed reporting.

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