Cameron County Judge signs migrant surge disaster declaration as Title 42 expires.

Title 42: Border Communities Brace for Unknown Impact as Pandemic-era Health Measure Ends

The end of Title 42 along the Texas-Mexico border has caused concern among communities who are bracing themselves for unknown impacts. Over the roughly 1,200-mile line, multiple areas have declared emergencies in anticipation of an influx of migrants.

Cameron County is one such location, sitting across the border from Matamoros, Mexico, with Brownsville as its county seat. Officials in the county are reportedly expecting levels as high as two, three, or even six times the regular amount of migrants crossing into Texas.

“As Title 42 ends, we’re expecting anywhere from 3,000 to 8,000 (a day) potentially,” states Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño, Jr. during an interview with Inside Texas Politics. In response to “the imminent threat of widespread or severe damage, injury, or loss of life or property,” Treviño signed a disaster declaration for the county, which will stay in place through May 18 at the earliest.

Title 42, which quickly expelled migrants without allowing them to seek asylum, is a pandemic-era health measure that ended last week. As migrants make their way to points north, local communities are feeling the strain on resources.

In Cameron County, airports have been burdened, but not yet overburdened. Hospitals and bus stops are holding up as well. Coordination with counterparts in Mexico could be improved, according to Treviño. However, local, state, and federal officials on the U.S. side are working well together.

When asked whether enough is being done to prepare for the influx, Judge Treviño chose not to pinpoint a single individual or party, stressing that the majority of migrants are fleeing threats and strife in their home countries and seeking a better life.

“These are the same people that have been coming to this country for 240 years. They’re just maybe coming from a different avenue. They’re coming from all over the world,” he said. “Obviously, the great majority of them are coming from Latin America, South America, and Central America. But many, many Europeans. We’ve got Ukrainians. We’ve got Asians. Chinese. The whole world is crossing here.”

The situation along the Texas-Mexico border remains a complex and ever-evolving issue, requiring coordination and preparation from multiple levels of government.

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