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The U.S. isn't ready for Title 42 ending

Thousands of migrants a day have been crowding parts of the southern border as the impending end to a controversial border policy called Title 42 is set to end next week.

More than 2,000 migrants a day have been crossing the border in El Paso, Texas, presenting themselves to Border Patrol agents and turning themselves in to ask for asylum.

Officials expect an influx of migrants as Title 42 ends.

First put in place under the Trump administration as a public health measure during the pandemic, it has been used more than 2 million times to expel migrants without allowing them to seek asylum. A judge ordered its end last month, but 19 states — including Arizona — have challenged that in court. And on Dec. 13, they filed an emergency motion to stay the judge’s ruling until their challenge plays out.

One local official who is bracing for what’s next is Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls. The Show spoke with him to learn about the situation.

Record numbers of migrants died in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands in 2021 — at least 650 people from Texas to California, with 200 in Arizona alone. But according to new reporting by CBS News, this year could be shaping up to be even worse.

Internal Border Patrol data obtained by the outlet show that at least 853 migrants died trying to cross the border in fiscal year 2022. And that’s likely an undercount.

The humanitarian aid group Humane Borders has worked for the last two decades to track and help stop the ongoing deaths in the desert seen each year.

Brad Jones is one of their board members, as well as a professor of political science at the University of California, Davis. The Show spoke with him, and he said the new numbers don’t surprise him.

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Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.