Jeh Johnson, former Secretary of Homeland Security for the Obama administration, warned during an interview on Sunday that President Biden was going to pay “a political cost” for his administration’s decision to lift Title 42 in May – a Trump-era border security policy – as the southern border faces record high levels of illegal immigration.
CBS News host Margaret Brennan asked Johnson if the Biden administration was prepared to deal with the surge in illegal immigration resulting from lifting Title 42, which is expected to nearly triple once Title 42 is no longer enforced.
“Numbers at these levels are difficult to handle on the southern border,” Johnson responded. “Communities on the southern border, catholic charities, the volunteers, difficult to absorb these types of numbers under almost any scenario. It’s challenging for the Border Patrol, for ICE to properly process and track these individuals. And, obviously, the Biden administration is paying a political cost for these.”
Johnson said that if he were still in office, he “would have argued that we should keep it in place just a little while longer, until perhaps July, when these numbers do tend to slow down in the hotter weather,” and pointed out that “March, April, May tend to be the peak seasons for migration on our southern border.”
“And so DHS will have a challenge. And I heard the current secretary the other day say at present they have something like 7,000 a day,” he added. “That’s a high number.”
As a result of the Biden administration’s decision to lift Title 42, the DHS expects as many as 18,000 migrants attempting to illegally cross the southern border each day, according to an agency document obtained by ABC News.
“The DHS Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS) produced projections for post-Title 42 Southwest Border encounters describing low, medium, high, or very high encounter scenarios,” the document says. “These scenarios underpin planning assumptions that generate requirements which in turn drive operational execution. Based on these projections the SBCC is currently planning for 6,000, 12,000 (high) and 18,000 (very high) encounters per day.”
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