US Border Crossings Down 50% After Title 42 Expiry: Mayorkas

The number of border crossings along the U.S. southern border has fallen by 50% since pandemic-related asylum restrictions expired Thursday, contradicting earlier fears it would spike, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Sunday.

U.S. Border Police counted about 6,300 border crossings on Friday and 4,300 on Saturday, up from more than 10,000 before Title 42 expired Thursday night, Mayorkas said said CNN’s Dana Bash.

It is “too early” to say whether the number of crossings has peaked, he said, while attributing tougher penalties for illegal entry to the immediate drop.

“There is a legal, safe and orderly way to get into the United States through the routes that President Biden has expanded in unprecedented ways, and there are consequences for not using those legitimate routes,” he said.

New penalties imposed for illegal entry include a ban on asylum, expedited deportation and a ban on re-entering the United States for at least five years, Homeland Security said in a statement data sheet about returning to Title 8, which was in place before the pandemic. Title 8 came back into effect on Friday.

“The return to Title 8 processing is expected to reduce over time the number of repeat border crossings that increased significantly under Title 42,” the fact sheet said.

Federal and state officials have braced for a possible surge in migrants following the expiry of Title 42 while managing a significant number of border crossings. About 10,000 migrants were stopped Tuesday, a US official told The Associated Press. This was slightly below the maximum of 11,000 expected after Thursday.

Several migrants in El Paso, Texas, reportedly told NBC News last week said the recent spike in crossings was due to rumors online and in Mexico that the best time to cross is before title 42 expires.

“There was a lot of talk that after Title 42 ended, it would be very difficult to enter the United States,” said a 30-year-old woman who traveled from Venezuela with her husband and three children. told the network from an El Paso animal shelter.

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