National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the White House isn’t telling the American public key details about its assurance that migrants without lawful claims to stay in the country will be quickly removed as they prepare for a possible influx at the border ahead of Title 42’s end.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Friday that the pandemic public health order, known as Title 42, used to quickly expel migrants will end May 23.
The order was put in place by the Trump administration and has resulted in the expulsion of over 1.7 million migrants, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
In a press briefing Thursday, ahead of the CDC’s decision, White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield told reporters that the Biden administration is preparing for a possible border surge, stating that most migrants who don’t have legitimate claims to be in the U.S. will be sent back to their home countries.
“Our goal is going to be to process migrants in a safe and orderly manner, but, also, to be clear, most individuals who cross the border without legal authorization will be promptly placed into removal proceedings,” Bedingfield said. “And, if they are unable to establish a legal basis to remain in the United States, they’ll be expeditiously removed and returned to their country of origin.”
Bedingfield’s statement, while true, doesn’t take into account the reality on the ground for Border Patrol agents forced to release many of these migrants, who often don’t show up on their court dates, according to Judd.
“She’s not lying, they’re going to be placed in those proceedings,” Judd told the DCNF. “But, that doesn’t mean that they get removed expeditiously, that’s ambiguous at best. And it’s also relative, what is expeditious to them? What is expeditious to another person? Another person, expeditious to them could mean a year … And, so, when you look at that, she is right, they will be placed in proceedings. But that doesn’t mean that they’re held pending those proceedings, we must release them because there is no space for them.”
“The problem with Title 42, when it goes away, there’s going to be no deterrent factor whatsoever,” he added. “Yes, she’s right. We will process them and we will place them in proceedings. But, in placing them in proceedings, that means they’re being released into the United States pending a future court date. That’s what it means and that’s what she’s not telling the American public.”
On a phone call with reporters Friday, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official said that the administration is readying for the migrant influx.
“We are coordinating across the whole of the government to ensure that we are prepared for any potential increase in border encounters … as a result of the termination of the title 42 order,” a DHS official said.
Judd said there’s a way for the administration to implement policies that work and are in line with its agenda, adding that he made those policy prescriptions clear when he met with senior officials early on, including some addressing the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) establishing that some migrants can await proceedings in Mexico.
“Now, the argument’s going to be: Well, then there’s nothing the administration can do,” Judd said. “And I say that that’s absolutely wrong … When they ended MPP, they were told by multiple people, myself included, I met with the transition team, I’ve met with Secretary Mayorkas.”
“I specifically told them, working within your parameters, you say that it is inhumane to make people wait in Mexico pending their proceedings. Ok, if that’s what you’re claiming, then hold them here in the United States.” he said. “Our apprehensions are low enough that we have the space to hold people. We could have done it right then. And, had we had done it back then, people would have stopped coming.”