Mayorkas says 24,000 border agents ready to stop migrant surge as Title 42 expires: 'Border is not open'

Mayorkas says 24,000 border agents ready to stop migrant surge as Title 42 expires: 'Border is not open'

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas assured the United States' border with Mexico is not open as the COVID-era Title 42 public health order expired Thursday.


The Department of Homeland Security released a statement at midnight Thursday as the Title 42 public health order expired affirming that the U.S.-Mexico border remains secure and Border Patrol agents will resume the authorized removal of migrants.

"The border is not open," DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said. "Starting tonight, people who arrive at the border without using a lawful pathway will be presumed ineligible for asylum."

He added: "We have 24,000 Border Patrol Agents and Officers at the Southwest Border and have surged thousands of troops and contractors, and over a thousand asylum officers to help enforce our laws. Do not believe the lies of smugglers."

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Mayorkas cautioned that violators would face "tougher consequences" as the Biden administration looks to combat the ongoing migrant crisis.

"People who do not use available lawful pathways to enter the U.S. now face tougher consequences, including a minimum five-year ban on re-entry and potential criminal prosecution," he said. "Together with our partners throughout the federal government and Western Hemisphere, we are prepared for this transition."

As for migrants currently in the country, Mayorkas said the DHS and its partners stand "ready to humanely process and remove people without a legal basis to remain in the U.S."

Mayorkas' warning comes as Border Patrol agents made another 10,000 migrant apprehensions Wednesday, the third day in a row, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) sources.

The statement comes after a federal judge Thursday evening blocked the Biden administration from implementing a policy that would have allowed immigration officials to release migrants currently in custody. The policy was announced to clear immigration holding facilities to avoid overcrowding ahead of the Title 42 expiration, which was expected to bring a surge of migrants to the border.

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