Border crossing numbers have begun to decrease at a steady rate after the Trump Era Title 42 executive order expired on the 11th of May. Officials believe they know why: rumors about the outcome of attempting to cross after the executive order ended.
Given the expiration of Title 42, a number of measures have been put in place to stem the tide of migrants (roughly 200,000) crossing from Mexico to the US every month. The number dropped significantly thanks to measures the Biden Administration started to implement in January. Some of these measures to deter illegal crossings included expansion programs to give migrants from Cuba, Haiti, and Nicaragua expedited means to enter the country legally, provided they have a US-based financial sponsor while implementing immediate expulsions for those who tried to cross otherwise illegally.
However, what seemed to drive migrants to the border just prior to the end of Title 42 was a rumor: that border crossing would be near impossible at the end of the Title 42 executive order.
The rationale is that the expiration of Title 42 will mean the reintroduction and enforcement of Title 8. This particular order granted border patrol officials the ability to punish those who attempted multiple crossings, including a five-year ban and criminal prosecution. As Title 42 ended, rumors led to desperate attempts to beat the deadline.
Given the turn of events, migrants find themselves weighing the risk of crossing illegally against the risk of turning themselves in to immigration authorities to let their fates be decided legally. Migrants are quickly learning that turning themselves in is not a guarantee of success.
Tackling the migrant issue has been fraught with complications and complexities since Biden got into coffee. Initially, Biden tried to make good on his campaign promise to offer refuge to asylum seekers attempting to escape gangs and domestic violence via an executive order in February 2021. However, after two years of record arrivals at the border, the Biden administration quietly extended the life of Title 42 as a deterrent until new measures could be put in place.