President Joe Biden’s administration is preparing for as many as 400,000 illegal immigrants to enter the United States southern border in October in an unprecedented surge, Department of Homeland Security officials told NBC News this week.
On Thursday, NBC reported that DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas asked senior officials if the department was prepared for a spike of between 350,000 and 400,000 illegal immigrants in October alone, two officials familiar with the conversation revealed.
The number would be almost twice the 21-year record high that occurred in July, when more than 210,000 illegal immigrants entered the United States.
The officials noted that the prediction is not founded on internal intelligence or calculation, but rather was meant to prepare the department for an overwhelming number of illegal immigrants that could pour across the border upon the expiration of Title 42, a Trump-era Centers for Disease Control and Prevention policy that was used to deport illegal immigrants in the name of limiting the spread of COVID-19.
In September, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled that the Biden administration could not use Title 42 to block asylum-seekers from entering the United States.
The administration had considered lifting Title 42 prior to the ruling, but feared it would lead to a “catastrophic” surge of illegal immigrants. Despite the concerns, effective November 29, being in the United States illegally will no longer be enough to earn deportation, according to new immigration enforcement guidelines released by Sec. Mayorkas on Thursday.
“There is also recognition that the majority of the more than 11 million undocumented or otherwise removable noncitizens in the United States have been contributing members of our communities across the country for years,” the guidance stated. “The fact an individual is a removable noncitizen will not alone be the basis of an enforcement action against them.”
The guidance said enforcement priorities are focused on illegal immigrants who pose a “threat to our national security, public safety, and border security.” Enforcement now requires an “assessment of the individual and the totality of the facts and circumstances.”
Last month, Sec. Mayorkas admitted that between 10,000 and 12,000 illegal Haitian immigrants were released into the U.S. following a surge that left thousands of migrants camped out under the international bridge in Del Rio for days.
“They’re released on conditions. Approximately, I think it’s about 10,000 or so, 12,000,” Mayorkas told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, later adding that the number “could be even higher.”