EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego spoke with ABC-7 about a federal judge's decision to block Title 42 Tuesday.
Title 42 was drafted during the COVID-19 pandemic by then-President Donald Trump to expel migrants who cross the US-Mexico border. More than a million migrants have been expelled due to the order, and the Biden Administration has continued to use the ruling as an effort to control the surge of migrants arriving at the border.
"We've been preparing for [the lifting of Title 42] said Samaniego. "We're doing everything we can to make it manageable," he added, stating that the County is looking to buy a vacant building to aid in the processing of potentially 3,500 apprehensions a day. The existing processing center can process up to 600 migrants a day, according to Samaniego.
Samaniego said the County would like to have more time to prepare and get funding in place from FEMA before the title is lifted.
"If they were to say [it will be lifted] in three weeks, then we can prepare a lot differently than telling us that tomorrow it will be lifted," he said. "It's a federal crisis on the shoulders of a local community."
He added that at this time, Border Patrol told him that they would continue to use Title 42 until told otherwise.
The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement Tuesday evening that Title 42 will remain in place "for some period." It adds that " during the period of this freeze, [DHS] will prepare for an orderly transition to new policies at the border."