An official model predicts 18,000 immigrants a day.
According to senior DHS officials briefed reporters on Tuesday, the Homeland Security Department is preparing for the southern border for 18,000 migrants a day if Title 42 is withdrawn.
DHS officials say they have “no idea” when the headline 42, the controversial Trump administration’s policy of deporting single adults under a public health emergency, will be withdrawn.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is currently conducting a review of Title 42, which must be completed by March 30. An announcement on whether it will be renewed is expected soon after.
Officials say they have gone through three situations and the maximum number of migrants crossing the border each day was 18,000. They insisted it was just a prediction and they were ready for anything. The DHS has also set up a joint information center with officials across the federal government.
“I don’t think it’s clear in the coming days, weeks or months what the potential impact of the headline 42 lifting will be on the migratory flow, but we need to be prepared to consider a potential contingency that could increase the headline 42 lifting flow. And so It’s definitely part of the planning process, “said a senior DHS official.
ABC News has received a strategic plan outlining the steps that DHS will take in response to the “irregular migration pattern”.
The 16-page document specifically states that the removal of Title 42 is likely to result in “a significant increase in all U.S. borders – primarily along the southwestern border.”
“The DHS Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS) has developed estimates for post-title 42 Southwest Border Encounters that describe low, medium, high or very high encounter situations,” the document said. “These situations underpin the planning assumptions that create the requirements that drive operational performance. Based on these assumptions, SBCC is currently planning 6,000, 12,000 (high) and 18,000 (very high) encounters per day.”
In the event of massive migration across the border, Customs and Border Protection have more than doubled their air and bus transport capacity and are ready to beef CBP agents at Surge Point.
The agency is looking at ways to make the situation more sustainable when migrants arrive, such as setting up an online pre-registration system and sending more CBP officers to the border.
The department is setting up temporary facilities in anticipation of higher immigration levels.
The southwest border had an average of 5,892 warnings per day in February, an increase from 2021 when the average for the calendar year was 4,753 per day, according to CBP data.
“We now see 40% of our monthly encounters coming from non-Mexican or North American triangle countries. This is clearly unprecedented and something not only for us, but also for Mexico and other governments. Countries in the region,” a senior official told reporters. They are seeing the arrival of Nicaraguan, Cuban and Venezuelan citizens.