Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), issued the warning during his interview with Fox News anchor Dana Perino. NBPC represents USBP agents and support staff.
"When you look right now, we already start our shifts with 50 percent of our resources not even performing enforcement activities; they're in administrative duties," he said. "Once this explodes, we're going to have nearly 100 percent of our people doing administrative rather than enforcement duties."
Judd added that in a "worst case scenario," USBP would be unable to patrol the border due to the lack of available personnel. "We just don't have anybody in the field, [and] that's going to give complete control to the cartels. That's a scary situation to be in." (Related: Crimes at the border: Illegal immigrants, illegal drugs flow freely in southwest border.)
According to the NBPC head, Title 42 – which allows the immediate expulsion of illegal immigrants on public health grounds – helped lighten USBP's load. Recently, however, the force is running out of capacity as overwhelmed agents are held up by administrative duties. Instead of actively patrolling the border with Mexico, USBP staff are refereeing claims from illegals – if not expelling them back to their home countries.
Former President Donald Trump implemented Title 42 during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is set to expire under President Joe Biden. U.S. District Judge Robert Summerhays issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) blocking the incumbent administration from terminating the edict.
In line with this, the Biden administration requested Summerhays to make a final decision on the TRO for Title 42 by May 20 "to avoid uncertainty that could pose operational challenges."
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, meanwhile, said his department is prepared for the end of Title 42. "That does not mean that the border is open beginning on May 23," he remarked during a May 17 visit to the border's section at the Rio Grande Valley. "We will continue to enforce the laws of this country … and remove individuals who do not qualify for relief under [its] laws."
Title 42 has blocked more than 1.7 million illegals at the border with Mexico since its inception two years ago. According to a May 16 court filing, USBP encountered more than 234,000 illegal aliens in April – with 96,908 being deported back to Mexico under Title 42 rules. The Biden administration said it is preparing for up to 18,000 encounters per day when the order expires.
Deportations have experienced a dramatic decline ever since Biden came to power. According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement data, only 59,011 illegals were expelled back to their home countries. This contrasts with the 185,884 deported in 2020 and the 267,258 deported in 2019.
Some Republican lawmakers issued warnings about the lack of a plan to address the influx of illegals attempting to enter the U.S. when Title 42 expires.
Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) remarked that the border crisis "clearly began" when Biden took office in January 2021. "If he ends Title 42 policies next week, we're going to need a much taller chart," he tweeted on May 18.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said in a statement given to Fox News: "The Biden administration is scrambling five days before [its] own deadline to end Title 42 because [the president's] open border policies have created, in the words of Mayorkas, an 'unsustainable' crisis for our country."
Meanwhile, two GOP lawmakers echoed Judd's concerns about drug cartels and Title 42.
Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI), ranking member of the House Subcommittee on National Security ranking member, said on May 17 that "by empowering the cartels instead of [USBP], Biden is actively threatening the health and safety of our communities."
Rep. Diana Harshbarger (R-TN) agreed with Grothman, saying on the same day that "only the cartels are happy" about Title 42 being lifted.
OpenBorders.news has more stories about the border crisis in America.
Watch this One America News report about Mayorkas' May 17 visit to the border.
This video is from the NewsClips channel on Brighteon.com.