April 17, 2022 10:20am
Updated: April 17, 2022 10:15pm
Well ahead of next month's lifting of Title 42 immigration restrictions, President Joe Biden has ordered Border Patrol agents to begin allowing illegal migrants into the country by granting them multiple exemptions to the current health regulation, according to a document reviewed by Just the News.
The memo sent last week identified a half dozen ports of entry (POEs) where exceptions can be granted and a broad range of conditions that qualify for the exemptions. The order takes effect Thursday.
"Beginning April 21, 2022, OFO will increase its capabilities to process noncitizens potentially amenable for an exception to Title 42," the memo reviewed by Just the News says.
"Factors weighing in favor of an exception," the memo explains, "include the following: a physical or mental illness, disability; pregnancy; lack of access to safe housing or shelter in Mexico (under 21 years old or younger or over 70, including families); and an indication that an individual has been threatened or harmed in Mexico."
Under the new rules, if a single member of a family qualifies for the exception, in most cases the entire family can come into the country legally, Border Patrol agents were told.
A senior U.S. official, speaking only on condition of anonymity, said the exemption policy means the flood of illegal immigrants coming into the country could start much earlier than the May 21 lifting of Title 42.
"We are bracing for an avalanche to begin in just a few days," the official said.
Even before the order, nearly 210,000 illegal migrants were encountered by Border Patrol in March and more than 80,000 let into the country.
The memo made clear the Border Patrol should be working with advocacy groups and lawyers trying to get as many illegal migrants as possible into the country using the exception process.
"Field offices and POEs should continue to work with attorney/advocacy groups currently submitting Title 42 exceptions to increase the number of individuals processed at the identified locations," the memo stated.
"In order to facilitate orderly travel for individuals who may potentially be granted an exception from Title 42 into the various POEs, each POE may designate scheduled dates/times for such individuals to present themselves," it added.