DHS head answers questions on border apprehensions, Title 42 in Congressional hearing this week

By Alisa Reznick
Published: Wednesday, April 19, 2023 - 8:37am

Alejandro Mayorkas
Alisa Reznick/KJZZ
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas speaks at the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales on March 21, 2023.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was before Congress this week answering questions about border apprehensions and the upcoming end of the pandemic-era protocol Title 42, among other issues. 

Title 42 restricts the legal right to asylum at the border and allows border officers to quickly turn migrants from many countries back to Mexico. The protocol is set to end alongside the public health emergency order that it’s tied to on May 11th.

The number of nationalities subject to Title 42 has grown since being enacted the last three years because of a series of agreements the U.S. has made with Mexico. During the hearing Tuesday, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema asked Mayorkas whether returns would still happen when Title 42 went away.

"Losing these agreements will drive additional migration. Is DHS working with the State Department and the government of Mexico so that they continue to accept these nationals from these countries after Title 42 ends?," she asked.

Sinema also said Arizona’s border communities would need continued support from the federal government to respond to an increased number of migrants. Mayorkas said DHS was working with Mexico and other countries to address regional migration challenges.

FronterasImmigration Southwest Border