San Diego County Prepares for Possible ‘Street Releases' of Some Migrants as Title 42 Ends

With the end of Title 42 nearing, San Diego County is preparing for an influx of Asylum seekers at the San Ysidro Border

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Hundreds of people from all around the world have spent days camping out at the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego waiting to be processed for asylum in the United States. With Title 42 set to expire Thursday evening, county leaders are doing what they can to prepare.

NBC News learned the Biden Administration is preparing a memo to direct customs and border protection to release some migrants into the U.S. without court dates or the ability to track them. People would be released “on parole” with a notice to report to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office.

Board of Supervisors Chair Nora Vargas said the county has been working with the federal government to ensure these releases are minimized in San Diego. She said they’ve created three groups in the north, south, and central part of the county to prepare for any "street releases."

“As a county, we’re going to do everything that we can to coordinate and work closely with the federal government so that they understand the impact that street releases have on all of us, so we’re continuing to work with MTS and the airport, and with everyone else so that they understand exactly what’s happening,” Vargas said.

The federal government has put up $35 million to fund local humanitarian efforts shared between Catholic Charities San Diego and other organizations in the region, according to Vargas. Jewish Family Services and UC San Diego have been partners in providing temporary shelter for many asylum seekers. Vargas said the action the federal government is taking is aimed at reducing the number of people showing up at the border.

“The Biden Administration will be opening regional processing centers across the western hemisphere, including Colombia and Guatemala. What this means and why this is so important is because it’s really intended to reduce the number of people that are coming into our borders,” Vargas said at a Wednesday press conference.

Earlier this week, Supervisor Jim Desmond released a statement that the county is trying to find a balance between security and humanity. He also said he’s concerned the federal government has not put the resources in place to protect San Diegans and those seeking asylum.

Vargas said the county board is also sending a letter to the Biden Administration requesting additional resources, including FEMA assistance to the San Diego area to deal with the migrant crisis in the area.

NBC 7's Amber Frias takes a look at how volunteers at the border are helping migrants survive.

El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells took a similar route, sending a letter to the White House asking for assistance and intervention.

“I expect them to bring some FEMA troops in, bring in medical personnel, bring in food and shelter, whatever we need to help," said Wells.

The number of tents between the two border fences has been growing by the day, reports NBC 7's Jeanette Quezada.

President Biden said the U.S.-Mexico border would be “chaotic for a while," when Title 42, a pandemic-related policy restricting asylum opportunities at the border, expires Thursday evening.

NBC 7's Dave Summers reports from a migrant camp near the San Diego-Imperial County border.
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