HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos is urging President Joe Biden to “prioritize the health and safety of Americans,” and reconsider the plan to lift Title 42.

The mayor asked in a news release that the Biden administration consider the continued threat of COVID-19 and the BA.2 variant in its decision to lift Title 42.

The policy was enacted in 2020 by the Trump administration to restrict immigrants from coming into the country amidst the ongoing public health emergency.

According to officials, the policy is scheduled to be lifted on May 23 of this year.

Officials warn of a potential surge of 170,000 immigrants if Title 42 is lifted.

According to the mayor’s news release, so far, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has reported 405,036 encounters with immigrants in 2020, 1,662,167 in 2021, and as of Wednesday, have already encountered 805,157 immigrants in 2022.