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DHS makes last-minute plea to migrants as Title 42 ends

Title 42, the pandemic expulsion power that had kept the border crisis from turning into catastrophe, has now expired, and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas made a final plea to migrants massing in Mexico not to rush the border.

He said the U.S. is “prepared for this transition,” and warned those that do try to sneak in that they now face more serious consequences if they are caught.

“Do not believe the lies of smugglers. The border is not open,” Mr. Mayorkas said late Thursday night in a statement timed to the expiration of Title 42 just before midnight.

He said those who do jump the border now will be presumed to be ineligible to claim asylum, and he said they also face potential criminal prosecution, and can be formally deported.

Under Title 42, migrants could also be denied a chance to claim asylum. But since they were expelled and not formally deported they avoided long-term consequences such as a five-year bar on returning, or a felony charge if they try to re-enter after deportation.

But the warnings don’t appear to be working.

Border Patrol reported catching 10,000 migrants a day each day this week, and predicted the number will soon surge to as high as 14,000 a day.

By contrast, in the early days of the Trump administration in 2017 the Border Patrol went entire months without having to arrest that many people.

One senior Border Patrol official told a federal judge on Thursday that they face a grim choice of catching and releasing the mass of people, or else not catching them at all.

Detention and deportation of everyone is impossible, officials have said.

But the administration is still trying to convince migrants that it’s a possibility, hoping the threat alone will deter some of the looming wave of people.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been giving journalists access to airports to photograph deportation flights, and ICE announced Thursday that it made flights to Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

“Thousands of migrants were removed, expelled or departed voluntarily today,” ICE said, though it didn’t break down how many people were in each category.

Even still, Homeland Security can’t keep up with the pace of incoming migrants.

The Border Patrol said its detained population is growing by nearly 1,000 people a day, and that’s with a massive number of them being caught and released already.

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𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝘁𝘀, 𝗖𝗼𝗽𝘆𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 & 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘆:
𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗗𝗠𝗖𝗔,
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