Mission, TX – Over the next six weeks, members of the Texas National Guard will be running training exercises at the U.S. - Mexico border to help prepare for what officials are calling, a possible mass migration event when Title 42 expires in May.
"We are prepared and overwhelming a port of entry in Texas is simply just not going to happen," Southwest Border Operations Chief of Staff Colonel Patrick Nolan said.
When Title 42 expires in May, officials in Texas are expecting thousands of illegal immigrant crossings every day.
"With 1900 miles of border, Texas is arguably the front line of defense," Colonel Nolan said.
Title 42 was set in place to quickly expel migrants back to their home countries because of communicable diseases. When it expires on May 23rd, DHS is projecting thousands of illegal crossings every day.
Colonel Nolan said illegal crossings pose a security issue for not only Texas, but the entire country. Criminals will be looking to cross, he said.
"There’s the potential for criminal actors to come across with the normal people who are coming across and go through the border patrol processing," Colonel Nolan said.
The first training, ordered by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, took place in the Rio Grande Valley.
"Traditionally, this area sees some of the highest illegal immigration activity," Colonel Nolan said.
However, with more boots on the ground, and planes in the sky, the Texas National Guard, along with other agencies are hoping to deter and stop these illegal crossings.
"We have to look at the real possibility that we might have to respond to more than one event at more than one place," Colonel Nolan said.
Already this year, there have been nearly a million migrant encounters at the border, with a spike in unaccompanied minor encounters.