LA JOYA, Texas — Title 42, which allowed migrants seeking asylum to be sent back, was set to end today by the Biden administration.
But a federal judge ruled Friday that the policy would would stay in place.
It started during the pandemic to slow the spread of COVID-19 by limiting the number of people crossing the border.
We spoke to the union vice president of the National Border Patrol Council. He tells us agents were happy to hear Title 42 wasn’t lifted. He said the country really can't handle the influx of people. And he says cartels actually use the people crossing to distract agents. And that gives the cartels a chance to sneak in drugs.
"The hard part, the rest of world heard Title 42 was ending they started and mobilizing, coming this way and thousands of people waiting in stash houses," said Chris Cabrera with the Nation Border Patrol Council.
Cabrera says the government didn’t really have a plan in place to deal with this influx if Title 42 was lifted.
"Truthfully, there was no plan in place and there still is no plan, so once people start crowding, we will be in over our heads," said Cabrera.
And local law enforcement agencies like the La Joya Police Department, who deal with these problems every day, say they’re also relieved Title 42 wasn’t lifted. It's too much for them already.
"We always hope that it does stay because what that does it kind of stabilizes. And it allows us to go after the dangerous ones," said Sgt. Manuel Casas with the La Joya Police Department. "A lot of these people seeking asylum are not dangerous. But the ones that do run, they’re running for a reason. We have caught them and they have the tattoos of the gangs they are part of."
According to the Texas border patrol's website, about 41,700 people crossed over illegally for the month of April.
But pro-immigration advocacy groups like FIEL Houston say the Title 42 policy needs to be lifted.
“Title 42 was a directive that was first led by former President Trump. Upon the slowing down of the pandemic, there is no longer a need from Title 42 based on the original premise," said Cesar Espinosa the Executive Director at FIEL Houston. "Immigration law allows for people to come in and seek asylum. Republicans cannot have it both ways. On the one hand, they want COVID protocols to not exist but on the other, they are willing to bend every which way if it relates to the immigration."