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Border Patrol is preparing should Title 42 be lifted in May

Posted at 6:58 PM, Apr 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-08 21:58:37-04

PHOENIX — U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and their partners, came together to talk about the dangers of crossing the border through the desert without proper documentation.

This happened inside the Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson Friday.

While CBP was firm on not discussing the implications of Title 42 being lifted, ABC15 still pushed for answers.

CBP officials then told us they are ready, even though they would not specifically talk about the end of Title 42.

CBP Agents added, while they don’t know what to expect come May 23, they have a plan.

“I know how much work is involved, but that would be the only thing,” said Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Christopher DeFreitas, with CBP.

Agent DeFreitas says they have many partners that can help them with an influx of foot traffic that would potentially come in.

“We can employ the assistance of H.S.I. We can employ the assistance of CBP Air and Marine, Office of Field Operations. We can all help each other to meet out any challenges we may find,” added Agent DeFreitas.

Benjamin Gonzalez Caballero, a Sonora state government official, did talk to ABC15 about Title 42. He says they also have a bi-national partnership with the United States.

“On one side you have CBP on the other side you have Sonoran State Police, which prevent people from crossing,” added Gonzalez Caballero, in Spanish.

He says, when he heard Title 42 would be lifted on March 23:

“It was very worrisome,” he told ABC15.

Here are their concerns.

“Overcrowding. The fact that they can try to cross in a violent way,” said Gonzalez Caballero.

And human smuggling and trafficking of immigrants are also something homeland security investigators worry about.

“They don’t discriminate on nationality. They don’t care about what you’ve done or where you come from. They just care about whether you can pay them,” said Leo Lama, with the Homeland Security Investigations in Tucson.

CBP acknowledged these migrants aren’t just from Mexico. They are from Haiti, Ukraine, and other parts of the world.

So how would each be treated?

“Everyone’s the same. We will process everyone. We will do our interviews. Fundamental due process, if you will,” said Agent Christopher DeFreitas.

Agent Scott Bowles, with the Tucson Air Branch says this year they have received the highest number of rescue calls. He also adds an influx of migrants could cause them to continue going up.

“We are anticipating that. Me, personally and then I know here talk around the office. We are training. We are doing everything we can to prepare ourselves mentally and physically.”

Should Title 42 be lifted come late May:

“We will rally together and work together to achieve any goals we need to achieve,” said Agent Christopher DeFreitas.