As illegal immigration swells to levels never seen before in the U.S., Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas toured the busiest area in Texas' Rio Grande Valley. The visit comes as critics insist the Biden administration has done nothing to stop the unprecedented surge that many fear is about to get even worse.
April brought a historic high for migrant encounters along the southern border with the Department of Homeland Security recording more than 234,000 migrant encounters. That's the most in agency history and a 114-percent jump from this time a year ago.
Last month, nearly 97,000 illegal crossers were expelled under Title 42, a Trump-era pandemic policy that President Biden is seeking to end next week. Experts say the number of illegal crossings could triple if that happens.
But a federal judge has temporarily blocked the administration's effort for now.
Several states are suing, arguing the administration isn't following proper procedure in ending the policy and that border patrol will be overrun without it.
Border states are already seeing massive migration numbers, and Mayorkas has admitted that ending Title 42 would only make the situation worse. The health order has been used more than 1.8 million times to keep migrants from entering this country during the pandemic.
Mayorkas said, "That does not mean the border is open on May 23." He added, "We continue to enforce the laws of this country. Preparation began in September of last year. We knew very well that the CDC Title 42 would not be around forever."
As communities brace for the surge, Mayorkas told reporters the U.S. is already ramping up personnel, efficiency, and enforcement. Border patrol has been pleading for more manpower and technology to help deal with the increasing numbers since Biden took office.
Agents are especially concerned because illegal traffic has now shifted from primarily family units to single adults, most of whom are fanning out on the taxpayer dime via buses and planes to cities across America. It's unlikely they'll ever face a judge.
"They're going to set entirely different rules for illegal immigrants," said Dr. Kevin Roberts of The Heritage Foundation.
Meanwhile, new polling shows 58% of Americans disapprove of the way Biden is handling the border crisis.