80K Migrants Head to US from Guatemala as Title 42 Ends

According to government sources, around 80,000 South American migrants are currently in Guatemala, planning to head towards the US-Mexico border. This news comes as other migrants who have already made the journey are overwhelming US Customs and Border Protection by handing themselves over in their thousands daily ahead of the end of Title 42 measures on May 11. The situation is expected to worsen when the pandemic-era restriction ends, with tens of thousands of migrants camped along the Mexican side of the border, planning to head into the US. Texas Representative Tony Gonzales, who represents some 450 miles of the southern border, said he learned of the hordes of migrants while speaking to the Guatemalan president. He called the Biden Administration to share the information but received no response.

It is understood that the migrants are from multiple South and Central American countries and are making their way through Guatemala towards Mexico. Meanwhile, in return for US aid, Mexico has also been working to bolster its own border enforcement. The Post has learned of a camp run by the country’s immigration officials just over the border from Guatemala in Tapachula, in the state of Chiapas. Mexican reports say there are a further 60,000 migrants held there and protests, hunger strikes, and clashes with police are common.

It’s unknown when or how many of the 80,000 migrants hoping to reach the US will make it to the southern border, but the US is already bracing for up to 13,000 migrants a day trying to enter the US when Title 42 ends. The pandemic-era policy has been used to keep millions of migrants from claiming asylum in the US and will end at 11:59 p.m. May 11. Migrants have started to pour over the border, with close to 81,000 attempting to cross in the last 10 days, according to Border Patrol statistics. The agency also admitted an estimated further 26,000 had entered the country and evaded detection during that time.

Others waiting for Thursday so they can enter a legal asylum claim have started to gather near US border cities. In El Paso, migrants have set up tents just feet from where they plan to surrender themselves to US officials. The city’s mayor, Oscar Leeser, has also said he is aware of a migrant caravan 3,500 strong expected to arrive in his area this week as Title 42 ends. Just across from El Paso in Juarez, the Mexican government has estimated 35,000 asylum-seekers are waiting to get in. In Tijuana, near San Diego, up to 16,000 migrants could potentially cross over after Thursday. In Brownsville, the very Eastern tip of the Texas border with Mexico, 15,000 migrants crossed into the US last week, more than border agents in the area could handle.

Representative Gonzales explained that Border Patrol is just trying to keep their head above water and they’re completely overwhelmed. He added that in the El Paso area alone, immigration officials have started releasing 600-700 migrants without criminal records who would normally be thrown out of the country simply due to manpower, not enough agents to do the work. They’re being released with a “notice to appear,” GPS trackers and expected in federal immigration court on an assigned day. All that’s going to do is encourage more people to come over, he said. Title 42 has already been canceled.