MCALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Title 42, the public health order that prevents migrants from seeking asylum, is slated to end on Dec. 21.

The policy was enacted under the Trump administration when the pandemic hit the United States, which has since then been used over two million times to turn away migrants at the border.

As a result, Federal Judge Emmet Sullivan has ruled that the policy needs to end, arguing the policy is being misused as a way to control the influx of migrants.

But for Rio Grande Valley leaders like McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos, lifting Title 42 could overwhelm already limited resources in the RGV.

“Before, the numbers were just incredible, and today, it’s a lot easier. Once they lift it, I think we may just go back to the numbers that we used to have, and that’s going to be a problem,” he said. “We used to process 1,500 a day; it was very difficult. Now, if it goes in excess of that, I don’t know what we’re gonna do.” 

Although Villalobos says humanitarian centers like Catholic Charities RGV are prepared for the possible increase in asylum seekers, he believes it’s up to the federal government to address the issue.

“It’s not our responsibility, we always say, but we do whatever is necessary to keep public safety within our community,” he stated. “We always suggest to our congressmen, to our senators, of course, the president, to take care of the issue; whether it be financially to remedy it in the interim, but at the very end, fix the immigration issue.” 

El Paso’s mayor also issued a disaster declaration this week in response to an influx of migrants, many of whom are sleeping outside in freezing temperatures.