STORY: The US will soon finalize a new regulation by May 11, to deny asylum to migrants caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.
That’s according to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas at a news conference in Brownsville, Texas, on Friday.
MAYORKAS: "The situation at the border is a very serious one, a very challenging one, and a very difficult one."
May 11 is the day sweeping COVID-19 restrictions at the border -- known as Title 42 -- are set to end.
MAYORKAS: "The border is not open."
Mayorkas said the new regulation is a key part of President Biden's plan to address an expected rise in illegal immigration after the repeal of Title 42, which was implemented by the Trump administration at the beginning of the pandemic and has allowed border agents to rapidly expel many migrants to Mexico.
"In a post-Title 42 environment, we will be using our expedited removal authorities under Title 8 of the United States Code. That allows us to remove individuals very quickly. We will, by May 11, finalize the rule that we published in a proposed format that provides that individuals who do not access our lawful pathways will be presumed to be ineligible for asylum."
Migrant arrests at the U.S.-Mexico border have risen in recent weeks, which Mayorkas attributed to a spike in crossers from Venezuela.
Hundreds of asylum seekers are taking refuge on the streets of Brownsville, as Title 42 inches closer to expiring.
Despite difficulties making the journey, migrants like Venezuelan national Maicol Herrera said they won’t lose faith.
As buses carrying migrants rolled into the transit center on International Blvd, many waited around, hoping family members would arrive in the next wave.