EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A federal judge struck down Title 42 on Tuesday, Nov. 15 — the public health order that has allowed Border Patrol agents to expel migrants from certain countries who cross into the United States.
The City of El Paso says that it is monitoring the situation and working with Customs and Border Protection to determine the next steps.
“At this point in time, our CBP partners have not received a final version of the court’s orders. At present time, border agencies will not change operations and will continue to utilize Title 42, until the federal government agencies have determined a plan of action,” read a statement from the City of El Paso.
El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego says this was something that was expected to happen after the midterm elections.
“We knew that sooner or later it would happen. We knew it would happen right after elections. It was more likely for that to take place so we’re going to manage it the most we can. We’re always trying to figure out ways to do that,” Samaniego said.
El Paso shelters are at capacity and last week Border Patrol released migrants into the streets once again because of capacity issues.
“I would love to say we’re prepared but it will be a challenge. It will be a challenge if you double the numbers right now, we’re up to capacity so that would be way over capacity,” Samaniego said.
Migrants have built a tent city on the Mexican side of the border near Downtown El Paso.
The tent city appeared after the Department of Homeland Security announced one month ago that Venezuelans would also be subject to Title 42 and would be expelled back to Mexico if they crossed illegally.
On Tuesday, migrants could be seen gathering on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande while Border Patrol agents stood on the other side.
“Right now, we’re waiting that they give more information so we can advance or move forward. But at least now, we have a light at the end of the tunnel,” said one woman as she stood on the Mexican side of the border.
“We’re happy and content were just waiting on El Paso to see if we can cross and to see if all of us here can cross and accomplish the American dream. We’re all glad and we’re just this close,” said a woman as she stood next to tents on the Mexican side.
“Very, Very happy for all of us that are over here and it’s good and hopefully it’s true and hopefully we can all cross,” said a man who was also waiting on the Mexican side of the border.