PHOENIX — The CDC is ending the pandemic border rule known as Title 42. It kept asylum seekers in Mexico for fear they would bring COVID with them if they were allowed to enter the U.S.
Since December, border officials in Yuma report on average there have been 1,000 illegal crossings every day.
"Everything the Biden Administration has done on our Southern Border is a failure," said Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. Many, like Governor Ducey, fear once Title 42 ends on May 23rd those numbers will jump tenfold.
"It's something Americans don't think that we should have, an open-borders policy, and that's the policy of the the Biden Administration and all they do is make it more wide open," said Governor Ducey.
Ducey is not alone. Arizona Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly say ending Title 42 without a plan puts Arizona communities and migrants at risk.
In a letter sent on Thursday, Sinema and Kelly said in part, "we urge our Administration not to make any changes to Title 42 implementation until you are completely ready to execute and coordinate a comprehensive plan that ensures a secure, orderly and humane process at the border."
Senator Sinema was recently in Yuma where she received a briefing of immigrant crisis in that city. Sinema chairs the Senate Subcommittee for Border Management.
She plans to hold a hearing to put Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on record explaining the Administration's plan to deal with the anticipated crush of immigrants once Title 42 goes away.
"This program has closed the border almost two years. So, you have a significant amount of asylum seekers on the U.S. Southern Border. That's something we have to deal with," said Jose Patiño, Vice President of Aliento.
Patiño believes the Biden Administration will have a plan in place. He admits a lot is needed to make it successful: Resources and administrators to process asylum seekers, temporary shelter and enough border patrol agents to handle the volume of people who will attempt to enter the U.S.
"I suspect there's going to be thousands-maybe hundreds of thousands-who are going to be able to seek asylum thru the legal process," Patiño said.
An estimated 1.7 million people were turned away along the U.S. Southern Border last year. Many of those immigrants who seek asylum remain on Mexico's side waiting for their chance to enter the United States.