Title 42 set to expire, U.S. and Mexican border officials prepare

Published: Apr. 26, 2023 at 5:23 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - In less than three weeks, Title 42, the Trump-era public health policy will finally come to an end.

Now, officials on both sides of the border are dealing with an increase in border crossings but say they are prepared once May 11 comes around.

On Wednesday, April 26, the U.S. Border Patrol Laredo Sector gave a demonstration on the current dangers of crossing the border illegally. Members of the media joined the half-mile hike at a private ranch to experience what immigrants and Border Patrol agents deal with.

Officials on the Mexican side said they, in coordination with the U.S., are working to maintain control of the border region in the Colombia, Nuevo Leon area by establishing their own version of a Border Patrol to be stationed in the upcoming months. That includes building a checkpoint before the international bridge.

Laredo Acting Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Greg Burwell does not anticipate a possible surge of migrants in our area as Title 42 expires. ”I don’t think we’re expecting in this sector too much of a change with crossings. Now, that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. We’re preparing and we’re doing practice scenarios and things like that to deal with anything that happens, but we’re not seeing people stack up in this sector. It will be other sectors and we’ll have to help out other sectors with the processing, so it will be difficult for us but not the way it will be on the rest of the border,” said Burwell.

As summer approaches, it’s the heat that leads to the high number of rescues, according to officials. Officials say heat-related illnesses and drowning are usually the leading cause of migrant deaths.

From October 2022 to April 2023, Border Patrol confirms 19 deaths so far in the Laredo Sector. In 2022, there were 79 deaths, 35 of which were heat-related and 13, water-related.

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