MCALLEN (ValleyCentral) — In a public address, McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos stated the city’s goal is to keep residents safe in the wake of the repeal of Title 42 and called on the public to ask more of elected officials in regards to immigration.
On Monday, Villalobos released a video focused on immigration affirming that local officials should not have to deal with the issue and that the city will do what it takes to protect its residents.
“We keep on saying that immigration is not a local issue, it’s not an issue that we in McAllen should be dealing with,” said Villalobos. “[Immigration is] a federal issue that’s been dropped on our lap. Even though it is not our responsibility, we will continue doing whatever is necessary to keep our residents safe.”
Villalobos also warned that the area may soon “experience an immigration surge like we’ve never experienced.”
While the origin of this surge was not clarified in the video, a McAllen spokesperson confirmed Villalobos is referring to the repeal of Title 42, a pandemic-related policy preventing people without legal documentation from entering the United States in the interest of public health.
In response to this potential surge, Villalobos called on the public to contact state and federal officials in regard to these issues.
“Contact the president, your senators, and your congressmen to once and for all fix our immigration problems,” said Villalobos. “Ask them to protect the sovereignty of our nation, our people, and our property.”
Villalobos added that McAllen takes “no possession” of whether the migrants are authorized to enter the country or if they are eligible for asylum. McAllen’s “possession,” according to Villalobos is to “stand for public safety.”
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Friday that Title 42 would come to an end on May 23. Advocates say the Trump administration enacted the order in March 2020 under the guise of public health concerns. However, immigration advocates and attorneys argued that the move was politically motivated and unconstitutional.
Republican leaders have negatively responded to the repeal of Title 42 and as of Monday, Missouri, Arizona, and Louisiana have filed lawsuits against the Biden administration for the decision.
With Title 42 protocols closed, the United States will turn to Title 8, the standard immigration procedure for decades.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is expecting up to 18,000 people attempting to cross the border daily once Title 42 ends. The increased surge is prompting DHS to take extended measures to lower the impact such as opening temporary facilities to detain people, offering COVID-19 vaccines to migrants, and detaining people in alternative detention programs if they do not have asylum claims.