Breaking Wednesday, the Biden administration announced it will end the Title 42 border policy, which allows for immediate deportation, according to multiple reports. The Title 42 public health order “allows border agents to immediately expel illegal border crossers” reports National Review.
The Title was implemented under the Trump administration in the beginning stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was renewed under the Biden administration in August 2021. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made the order to end the policy, according to people familiar with the plans.
The Wall Street Journal reviewed the draft of the new order, which states that “there is no longer a serious danger” that migrants could spread Covid in border detention facilities. The order will be lifted around late May, in order to “give the administration time to prepare for a potential rise in migrants seeking to cross the southern border illegally” writes National Review.
Reportedly officials in the Department of Homeland Security are concerned that relaxing the order will result in an even worse influx of illegal border crossings. In 2021 alone, over 2 million migrants were detained at the border, according to numbers released by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency.
That number was more than double the 2019 numbers of 921,812. Already in February 2022 agents encountered 164,973 migrants, 60% higher than February of 2021. Even White House communications director Kate Bedingfield said the administration expects to see a surge after the Title is lifted.
“We are planning for multiple contingencies, and we have every expectation that when the CDC ultimately decides it’s appropriate to lift Title 42, there will be an influx of people at the border” Bedingfield told reporters at the White House Wednesday.
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Border officials find ‘sophisticated’ drug tunnel with rail system, electricity, from Tijuana to San Diego
Earlier this week U.S. authorities announced the discovery of a “fully operational” and “sophisticated” tunnel under the U.S.-Mexico border, reaching from Tijuana to San Diego.
Authorities confirmed 1,700-foot tunnel that ends in a San Diego warehouse near the U.S. Border Protection Otay Mesa Port of Entry was used to traffic drugs.
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Randy Grossman said the 61-foot deep and four feet across at the widest part was complete with “reinforced walls, a rail system, and electricity for ventilation.”
A 1,744 foot drug smuggling tunnel 61 feet underneath Trump’s border wall is discovered between Tijuana Mexico and Otay Mesa, south of San Diego. It has reinforced walls, a rail system, electricity, and a ventilation system. pic.twitter.com/O2KXREUJh6
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) May 17, 2022
Authorities stated a whopping $25 million worth of drugs were seized form within the tunnel over the weekend. Fox News reports that among the drugs were “1,762 pounds of cocaine, 165 pounds of meth, and 3.5 pounds of heroin.”
Authorities found the tunnel after surveilling a truck that was going to and from the warehouse with large boxes. “In a span of a few hours, agents watched five vehicles come and go from the stash house and this warehouse, we allege that the defendants were driving into the garage and loading or dropping off cardboard boxes full of drugs to further the movement or distribution of drugs throughout the United States, the federal agents were watching the whole time,” Grossman said.
After raiding the warehouse, authorities found no other drugs, but did spot the tunnel opening carved onto the floor.
“There is no more light at the end of this narco-tunnel,” Grossman said. “We will take down every subterranean smuggling route we find to keep illicit drugs from reaching our streets and destroying our families and communities.”
Fox News reports six California residents, aged 21 to 55, were arrested and charged with conspiring to distribute cocaine, meth, and heroin. “Together with the Mexican government, we have been collaborating in trying to eradicate these tunnels, which should not exist because that is where a lot of crime happens, and a lot of the suffering that we see,” U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar told the news outlet Zeta. “This needs to stop.”
Fox News adds “authorities said that drug-smuggling tunnels are not uncommon. They are usually used by drug smugglers to evade authorities and transport a large quantity of drugs. More than 15 tunnels have been found since 2006, officials said.”
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