EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Both Hidalgo and Cameron Counties have issued disaster declarations Thursday afternoon as Title 42 expires tonight.
Judge Richard F. Cortez said he issued the declaration after he received credible information from federal officials of large groups of migrants amassing near the border.
These groups could potentially surge the border once Title 42 expires, according to the release.
“I have received credible information from officials with Customs and Border Protection that large groups of migrants are probing our international border in search of crossing points,” Cortez said. “I have decided to declare this emergency as a first step in securing all available state and federal resources to ensure the health and safety of our residents.”
Similarly, in Cameron County, Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. signed and declared the county an area of disaster in response to the “imminent threat of widespread or severe damage, injury, or loss of life or property resulting from the Border Security Disaster.”
The disaster declarations will go into effect immediately and last for seven days unless the County Commissioners Court extends the declarations.
When it comes to immigration, Hidalgo County has no authority, Cortez said, but county officials have been working closely to provide any support that federal and state law enforcement may require.
This includes securing the perimeter of immigration operations and providing other types of tactical support.
Title 42 is set to expire at 10:59 p.m. local time on Thursday, according to DHS.
“The safety and health of Hidalgo County residents is my number one concern,” Cortez said. “I have said all along that I would move quickly to help with security if I were asked. I have been asked.”
The declaration says, “A surge in migrant crossings is a significant public safety and security concern, including but not limited to the risk of injury or loss of life and property.”