Illegal Border Crossings Surge as Title 42 Set To Expire

U.S. Border Patrol takes immigrants into custody at Arizona-Mexico border / Getty Images
April 18, 2023

Illegal immigration surged in March as the Biden administration struggles to implement systems to replace Title 42, a pandemic-era rule expiring May 11 that allows border agents to turn migrants away. 

Border Patrol agents reported 162,317 migrant encounters in March, an increase of 32,000 migrants from the month before. Eleven of the apprehended migrants had names matching ones on the terror watch list, the Washington Times reported.

The surge in migrants comes as the Department of Homeland Security is working to roll out a program that expedites screenings and interviews for those seeking asylum. The program will ensure migrants have access to legal services, according to the agency. The administration also said in February it will attempt to implement a Trump-era rule that was never enforced that would allow the United States to deny asylum to migrants who didn’t first apply for it in countries they passed through en route to America. 

As the Biden administration has overseen record illegal immigration, some in President Joe Biden’s party have called him out for not doing enough to put the border crisis under control. Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.) this week said "there are a series of executive actions the administration can take that would more effectively and humanely deal with our challenges."

Biden's enforcement of Title 42 has come into question, as new reporting found his administration accepted 99 percent of migrants' requests made through an immigration app for exemptions from the policy. 

Biden has focused on increasing the benefits the U.S. government hands out to illegal immigrants. The president last week announced he plans to expand federal health care coverage for DACA recipients.