Local officials near Arizona’s border with Mexico are bracing for a surge in illegal border-crossers as the Biden administration’s to end the CDC’s Title 42 restrictions on May 23 nears.

State Representative Tim Dunn (R-Yuma), who has been outspoken in educating the public about the border crisis in the Yuma Sector, told the Arizona Sun Times the Biden administration needs to reconsider. He said migrants will flood the border when the order is lifted, “We are bracing for a tsunami of pent-up demand when this goes away.”

He said it’s not fair that there are no procedures in place to help those with legitimate asylum claims, such as for refugees fleeing the Russia-Ukraine war. Instead, resources are tied up dealing with the migrants who do not have valid claims.

There’s not a lot more that Arizona can do once Title 42 is rescinded, he said. Unlike Texas, much of the land along the border is off-limits to state and local law enforcement, such as the Cocopah tribal lands. “Our hands are tied,” Dunn added. “We’re doing everything we can already, such as stationing Arizona National Guard troops and DPS officers along the border.”

Republicans and even some Democrat officials in Arizona denounced the move. Both of Arizona’s two U.S. Senators, Democrats Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, condemned the move. Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, a Democrat, said she supported the move, but admitted to NPR that it will require federal assistance. “What we are asking the Biden administration is that they have the resources necessary to be able to have these local communities take over, because it costs money to be able to offer a safe place for asylum-seekers to come.”

Kelly and Sinema aren’t the only Congressional Democrats to denounce the move. Fellow Democrat Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada warned, “This is the wrong way to do this, and it will leave the administration unprepared for a surge at the border.”

Governor Doug Ducey urged the Biden administration to reconsider. He deployed the Arizona National Guard to the border in April 2021 to accommodate the surge under the Biden administration. Brnovich sued the Biden administration over the move along with two other attorneys general, alleging that there was no required notice and comment period, and it was arbitrary and capricious.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who is currently running in the GOP Senate primary seeking to unseat Sen. Kelly, issued a legal opinion in February declaring that it had reached the level of an invasion under the United States Constitution due to the crime, violence, and drug smuggling.

In Texas, the border city mayor of McAllen, Javier Villalobos, warned that the area was likely to “experience an immigration surge like we’ve never experienced.”

According to German-owned Politico, the decision is so unpopular the Biden administration is attempting to distance itself by “emphasiz[ing] that the decision to lift the order rests solely on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” A senior DHS official said there is concern within the agency that removing the restrictions will incentive more migrants to cross the border.

DHS is planning to handle the surge by opening temporary facilities to detain people, offering COVID-19 vaccines to migrants, and detaining people in alternative detention programs if they do not have asylum claims.

Brandon Judd, head of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), told Fox News, “If there’s a strategy in place, we haven’t seen it, it hasn’t been disseminated to us and there’s no way you can prepare in a month and a half for what is expected to be a mass illegal migration crisis. The only thing this administration is going to be able to do is just release people on a mass scale, that’s it, that’s all they can do.”

The NBPC said in March, “Since the first day, it has been clear to Border Patrol agents that this Administration is not interested in securing the border. Every action taken to date has led to the country reaching a record high for number of apprehensions. … [I]t is clear by those who the Administration appointed to key positions in the Department and Agency that the priority is to open the borders, not to secure them.”

Since October 2021, Customs and Border Protection has encountered over 830,000 migrants on the southwest border, double the amount during that period a year ago, and four times the number two years ago. Nearly 1.7 million migrants were apprehended in Fiscal Year 2021. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz said during a border security conference in Texas last week that “every sector is busier than they were back in ‘21.” DHS is estimating as many as 18,000 migrants a day crossing after the order ends in May.

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Rachel Alexander is a reporter at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News NetworkFollow Rachel on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].