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Border Patrol braces for new chapter post Title 42

EL PASO, Texas – Undocumented migrants attempting to cross the border is nothing new for Border Patrol agents working along the El Paso sector of the southwest border. What is changing is the sheer number of migrants and the technology they're using to make the trek across.

That was evident when ABC-7's Saul Saenz rode along with agents to document their challenges. Upon arriving at that morning's meeting point: non-stop encounters were well underway.

One van used for transporting migrants was full.

"We are well over 113-thousand encounters already. We're talking about a 57.8 increase compared to fiscal year 2021," said Border Patrol Agent Orlando Marrero-Rubio.

For agents, better tracking technology and infrastructure and the lessons learned from the 2019 migrant surge lead to hopes of being better prepared to handle the anticipated 2022 surge.

One major change has civilian coordinators process migrants to allow agents to remain in the field for long stretches of time.

On the migrant side, the use of GPS helps them and their smugglers better navigate the terrain and evade agents.

At the center of it all is the possible lifting of Title 42, a public health order that allows agents to expel migrants for public health reasons. It was invoked under the Trump administration as a way to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Title 42 continued under the Biden Administration but is now set to be lifted on May 23 as Covid cases have decreased and vaccines are now widely accessible.

"What we have encountered is that migrants have asked us when is the law changing, when is it going away? The criminal organizations, they're already telling them stuff about Title 42 if it's ending, if it's not ending," said Marrero-Rubio.

For the latest figures on Southwest Land Border Encounters, click here.

Saul Saenz

El Paso native Saul Saenz is a veteran reporter who also hosts ABC-7 Extra.



  1. This is what Joe has given us;
    $5,000 increase in annual cost of living.
    Destruction of energy production and independence.
    Invasion of the border.
    World instability.
    Rapid devaluation of retirement accounts.

  2. Biden and his policies have had no connection to worldwide inflation. The United States is a net exporter of energy. There is no ‘invasion’ of the border. Russia and Trump’s buddy Putin started the wat in Ukraine. Biden and his policies have no connection to the corrections going on in the markets. It would behoove you to get an education and stop watching FOX News.

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