El Paso official says illegal border crossing numbers ‘are unsustainable’ days before Title 42 expires

Officials in El Paso, Texas, a border city that has seen an increase in migrants crossing over into the United States from Mexico, told city leaders on Monday that the numbers of people illegally crossing into the city “are unsustainable,” days before Title 42 is set to expire.

El Paso Deputy City Manager Mario D’Agostino was speaking to the City Council when he laid out the latest migrant figures. He said the city was seeing an average of 2,500 apprehensions daily. Over the weekend, the Border Patrol’s El Paso Sector saw a daily average of more than 2,400 migrants.

D’Agostino noted that large numbers of migrants are crossing into the U.S. despite Title 42, a Trump-era public health order slated to expire in the coming days, being in place. The order allows for the rapid removal of migrants at the border due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It expires on Dec. 21. 


“We’re talking about Title 42 being lifted and what that would do here in the community,” D’Agostino said. “We have to be cognizant with the fact that it’s already here. Look at the vast numbers increased in the past couple of weeks, especially the last three, four days. Those numbers are unsustainable, and that is with Title 42 in place.”

He added that the release of more migrants is expected within days and that nearly 500 migrants were released over the weekend at bus stations in what was called “safe community releases.” On Sunday, one group as large as 700 people approached the border, he said. 

Migrants stand across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas. Thousands of migrants have illegally crossed into the city in recent days, prompting concerns from city officials. 
(U.S. Border Patrol)

“What that does is it really puts the strain on our border patrol,” he said. “They have to go through the processing right now they have the ability to use title 42. So some of them will be sent back and they will be marked with the Title 42. And then the rest of them have to go into processing.”

A caravan of 20 buses from Juarez, Mexico, which sits across the border from El Paso, was escorted by Mexican authorities Sunday to non-governmental organizations at the border. The passengers then crossed illegally into El Paso. 

Border officials have seen large numbers of migrants along with a number of large groups, ahead of the expected end of the ability to expel migrants under Title 42.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) sources told Fox News that migrant numbers for FY 2023, which began in October, are over 485,000 and are expected to hit the half-a-million mark this weekend. So far, 156,000 have been expelled under Title 42.


Fox News’ Adam Shaw and Bill Melugin contributed to this report. 

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