At the southern edge of California, things are getting more and more chaotic.
At 8:59 p.m. Pacific time today, Title 42, an emergency health rule that has been used since 2020 to quickly kick out people who crossed into the U.S. illegally, will no longer be valid.
As my colleagues Miriam Jordan and Michael D. Shear reported this week, it’s a big change that could lead to a rise in the number of people coming to the U.S. from Mexico and could make political problems worse along the 2,000-mile border with Mexico.
What Will Happen After Today?
Even though no one knows for sure what will happen after today, Miriam and Michael reported that the federal government expects as many as 13,000 migrants to come each day right after the measure expires.
This is up from about 6,000 on a typical day. In the past few years, the number of illegal crosses has reached a record high, and the expected increase will put even more stress on a system that is already overworked. President Biden told 1,500 troops to help at the border last week.
California is one of the four states that border Mexico and the effects of this soon-to-happen policy change are already putting a strain on the state’s resources and those of the Mexican areas nearby.
The tweet below verifies the news:
As of yesterday, about 15,000 migrants had gathered in Tijuana, just south of San Diego. They were booking hotel rooms, filling up shelters, or sleeping outside while they waited for Title 42 to end.
Enrique Lucero, who runs the migration services office for the city of Tijuana, said that every day, a few hundred more people come to the city trying to sneak into the U.S. and stay there.
“People are desperate,” he said.
Lucero said that the city of Tijuana was ready to help the migrants, most of whom come from Mexico, Haiti, or Honduras, by giving them medical care, blankets, and other goods. He said that the government is thinking about opening an emergency center with room for 800 more people.
“Just in case,” he said, “we’re ready for that.”
On the American side, county, and city leaders in San Diego said they were working with federal and state partners to get ready for a large number of people to move to California after Title 42 ends.
The mayor of San Diego, Todd Gloria, was upset by “this cycle of crises that has a big effect on American cities.”
In a statement, Gloria said, “I have met with Customs and Border Protection directly in Washington, D.C., and in San Diego to express the city’s concern that we simply don’t have the resources to deal with an influx of migrants and need a lot of help to deal with the looming crisis at the southwestern border.” “The only real solution is for Congress to pass a broad immigration reform bill,”
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Scott Murray, a spokesman for the California Department of Social Benefits, says that since April 2021, the state has helped 350,000 migrants get benefits and help with their travel.
This week, state officials said they were keeping an eye on homeless shelters and hospitals in San Diego and other parts of California that could become full of refugees and trying to help them. Brian Ferguson, a spokeswoman for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, said that the state’s services won’t be enough to meet the needs.
Ferguson told me that state officials didn’t have exact numbers on how many migrants were expected to come to California after Title 42 expired, but that “we’ve heard anecdotally that numbers may be as high as they’ve ever been.”
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