Gov. Greg Abbott: 'Tidal Wave' of Migrants Arrives at Texas-Mexico Border as Biden Administration Fights To Lift Title 42

Immigrants on the U.S.-Mexico border / Getty Images
May 25, 2022

Approximately 100,000 migrants have gathered at the Mexico-Texas border as the Biden administration promises to end Title 42, a Trump-era regulation that blocks illegal immigration, Texas governor Greg Abbott (R.) said at a Monday press conference.

Both Abbott and local officials were "gearing up" for "the consequences of the lifting of Title 42," the governor said. While a federal judge blocked the Biden administration from lifting the policy, Abbott said Texas is still dealing with an influx of migrants.

"There are maybe as many as 100,000 migrants who are across the border waiting to cross into the state of Texas," Abbott said. "And we as a state—'we' being the local communities that are represented here in this room today—they're all dealing with the enormous challenge of having a tidal wave of people come into the communities."

Invoked in March 2020 by the Trump administration to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Title 42 permitted law enforcement to rapidly expel migrants attempting to enter the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on April 1 that it would terminate the policy, but before the termination could become effective on Monday, a federal judge in Louisiana blocked the plan and ordered the Biden administration to continue enforcing Title 42. District Judge Robert R. Summerhays ruled that President Joe Biden's attempt to lift the order violated administrative law.

Summerhays's ruling is only a "temporary result," however, Abbott noted.

The Department of Justice announced Friday that it will appeal. A lengthy battle over the legality of Title 42 will likely ensue.

While Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said the United States could handle the border post-Title 42, Abbott said the influx of migrants challenges Texas border cities.

Texas Department of Public Safety director Steven McCraw, who also spoke at the press conference, said the department will monitor the border in anticipation of Title 42's elimination. Even with Title 42 restrictions in place, the number of migrants attempting to cross the border has reached record highs. Customs and Border Protection has apprehended approximately 2.5 million people during Biden's presidency.