CAMERON COUNTY, Texas — As Title 42 ends along the Texas-Mexico border, communities along the roughly 1,200-mile line are bracing for unknown impact.
Cameron County sits just across the border from Matamoros, Mexico (Brownsville is its county seat) and it is expecting two, three, even as many as six times the normal amount of migrants crossing into Texas.
“Based upon what we’ve been seeing over the last week or two, we’re expecting anywhere from 3,000 to 8,000 (a day) potentially,” Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño, Jr. told us on Inside Texas Politics.
In anticipation of the surge, Treviño recently signed a disaster declaration for the county in response to “the imminent threat of widespread or severe damage, injury, or loss of life or property resulting from the Border Security Disaster.”
That declaration will stay in place through May 18 at the earliest.
Title 42 is the pandemic-era health measure that allowed authorities to quickly expel migrants without them being able to ask for asylum, but it ended last week.
Other locations along the border, including El Paso, have also declared emergencies.
The problem isn’t just migrants crossing the border in mass numbers. It’s also the strain on resources in local communities as migrants make their way to points north.
Treviño says, so far in Cameron County, airports are burdened, but not overburdened. And hospitals and bus stops are holding up as well.
While he says coordination with his local and state counterparts in Mexico could be better, he says local, state and federal officials on the U.S. side are working well together.
But when asked whether enough is being done, the judge wouldn’t point fingers at any one individual or party.
Treviño did stress that the majority of migrants trying to cross into Texas are just seeking a better life and running away from threats and strife in their home country.
“These are the same people that have been coming to this country for 240 years. They’re just maybe coming from a different avenue. They’re coming from all over the world,” he said. “Obviously, the great majority of them are coming from Latin America, South America and Central America. But many, many Europeans. We’ve got Ukrainians. We’ve got Asians. Chinese. The whole world is crossing here.”