EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – El Paso has seen migrant surges before, but there’s no precedent for what local and federal officials expect will happen when Title 42 migrant expulsions end on May 11.

“Obviously, May 11 is going to be a very challenging day and the weeks and months that follow will be incredibly challenging for our community,” U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, said on Thursday.

Title 42 is a public health rule that has allowed border agents to swiftly expel unauthorized migrants coming into the United States since 2020. Nearly 420,000 migrants have been expelled since October on Title 42 grounds along the Southwest border. In El Paso, 26,401 were sent back across the border just in March.

In three weeks, newcomers will be subject to Title 8 processing with most being absorbed into processing centers that as of Thursday held a record 5,389 migrants in custody, according to the City of El Paso’s migrant dashboard website.

U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas

In a Zoom briefing with reporters, Escobar said she is talking with the Department of Homeland Security about “creative ideas” on how best to handle what’s coming. She spoke to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday on funding.

She said she’s also reached out to House Republicans so local communities can have the money they need to cope with the expected migrant surge.

Last year, El Paso spent more than $10.3 million in federally reimbursable resources on migrant care that included food, transportation and busing out of town for migrants released from federal immigration custody. With a GOP majority in the House, their cooperation on funding issues is key.

“We need them to support us with that money and changes in the law to have a border that is not as broken as we have seen,” Escobar said.