U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, says he learned from the president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, that more than 80,000 migrants, primarily from Venezuela, are moving toward the U.S.-Mexico border, ahead of Thursday’s expiration of Title 42.
President Giammattei also said he tried to call the White House on the matter, but nobody would take his calls.
The news of the exodus comes as several migrants continue to surge along the border ahead of the end of Title 42 on May 11.
Title 42 is a public health order that has been in place since 2020 to expel hundreds of thousands of migrants quickly because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Once the order ends, droves of migrants are expected to arrive at the border, believing they have a better chance of being admitted into the U.S., although the Biden administration has said that is not true.
The president and his team have warned that penalties will be stiffened for those who enter the country illegally, and they are encouraged to use expanded legal pathways instead.
But it has not stopped migrants from trying to sneak into the U.S. for freedom illegally.
On Monday, the Biden administration announced it was launching a ‘targeted enforcement operation’ in El Paso, Texas, to process and possibly deport illegal immigrants.
The operation was to be executed by agents and officers from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in one of the border’s hotspots for migrant crossings.
On Tuesday morning, illegal immigrants who were camped on the sidewalks in downtown El Paso told Fox News they were woken up by authorities and handed pamphlets urging them to turn themselves in to CBP.
One man told Fox News the person who handed him a pamphlet had a badge and a gun. That was not enough to scare the man, though. In fact, he told Fox News, ‘I’m not gonna turn myself in.’
Migrants are also lined up along the border in Brownsville, Texas, nearly 800 miles south of El Paso.
In one video, a group of several hundred migrants are seen illegally crossing the border, with more coming.
Last week, the Biden administration announced the deployment of 1,500 troops to the border. It also announced the establishment of migrant processing centers across Latin America and a deal for Mexico to take back non-Mexican illegal immigrants.
The Department of Homeland Security announces the distribution of $332 million in funding to Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and local governments to help migrants who are released from custody.
Along with these additions, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas continues to say the border is not open, stressing that migrants can face consequences such as re-entry bans and criminal prosecution if they enter the U.S. illegally after Thursday.
Adam Shaw of Fox News contributed to this report.