Rio Grande City, Texas – Locals in a Texas border town largely told Fox News that they supported a judge's decision to extend Title 42, a pandemic measure that allows the federal government to immediately expel illegal migrants
"It's a good thing," a Rio Grande City local, Rita, told Fox News. "Because we have to be taking care of our safety, first of all. Our health."
But one man, Salvador, disagreed.
"It's not fair," he told Fox News. "They've come a long way to be stopped on the border."
Both the Trump and Biden administrations have relied on Title 42, which was implemented in March 2020 to prevent the spread of COVID-19, to quickly expel migrants at the southern border. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that it would terminate the measure effective May 23, calling it "no longer necessary" because of "an increased availability of tools to fight COVID-19."
But Judge Robert Summerhays in the Western District of Louisiana issued a preliminary injunction on the Biden administration’s plan to end the order in response to a lawsuit filed by two dozen Republican states led by Arizona, Louisiana and Missouri.
"The pandemic can come again, and we could all get sick again like last year," one man told Fox News. "So, it'd be safer if they extend it further."
One woman, Anna, said: "I agree about them sending them back."
"Here in Starr County, we're so close across the border, there were a lot of people crossing over, every day," Anna continued. "We're talking about thousands."
Customs and Border Protection recently announced that there were more than 234,000 migrant encounters in April. That number was expected to rise to 18,000 per day if Title 42 was lifted, according to Department of Homeland Security senior officials.
"We need the labor from them because Americans don't want to do it," Salvador told Fox News. "There's no price for them to do that kind of hard work."
He argued that officials could test migrants for COVID-19 in Mexico before they cross the border.
"That's all they got to do, Salvador said. "Check them before they enter."
Several said they were unsure how they felt about the policy.
"I don't know if it should remain," one man, Aldo, told Fox News. "But I do believe that something more has to be made."
"Our politicals up there in Washington – on both sides of the aisle – have done nothing to correct it for years and years," he continued. "They still don't have a solution to this problem."