Communities in the Southwest brace for expiration of Title 42

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNN) – We are just days away from an expected surge in migrants at the U.S. border.

A pandemic-era restriction called Title 42 allowed the government to turn away some migrants due to citing public health concerns. That policy is set to expire Thursday and communities across the country are preparing for what happens when it does.

DeMario Jones is a Migrant from Jamaica. He sees crossing the border as a singular mission.  Jones said, “Just want to go to the U.S. to get work, to change my life and live a good life.”

But border communities say an increase in migrants is an exponentially larger problem.

Yuma, Arizona Mayor Doug Nicholls (R) said, “This task is going to be too great.”

Mayor Nicholls said a month ago, 300 people a day crossed the border near his community. Sunday, he said there were 1,000.

Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs (D) said, “The federal government is unprepared to meet the demands of the expected influx.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) launched a border response team because he claims the federal government isn’t doing enough. He said, “While Texas is doing everything possible to try to stop people from crossing the border, at the very same time, the President of the United States is putting out the welcome mat.”

Texas has bused migrants to places like New York City, which now wants to send some to nearby Rockland County, New York.

Rockland County executive Ed Day said, “We cannot put the needs of people who are being sent here above our own residents.”

There’s busing in the Friday immigration package.

The county executive declared a state of emergency, requiring New York City to cover costs of any migrants.

Republicans in the House have put forth a bill to extend current policies, but which the White House says would make the situation worse.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “The bill HR 2 would be a disaster for border security and a Christmas morning gift for human smugglers.”

The bill is scheduled for a vote the same day Title 42 is scheduled to expire and unlikely to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate.

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