The Department of Homeland Security expects an increase in migration with the rollback of Title 42, according to a DHS Intelligence and Analysis bulletin obtained by ABC News.
Title 42 is the Trump era policy, continued by the Biden administration, which expels migrants under the auspices of the pandemic.
"Title 42 authorities are set to expire on 21 December, and the reversal of the policy will likely increase migration flows immediately as migrants adapt to recent changes," the bulletin dated Dec. 12 says.
DHS has been planning for the end of Title 42 since March when they rolled out a six point plan, which was updated this week and includes surging resources to the border and deconflicting points of entry to ease the burden for U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.
In April, when the administration first attempted to roll back the policy, they predicted 18,000 migrants a day at the border when Title 42 was to be lifted. That was scrapped after a judge ruled they have to keep the plan in place.
The ruling was then reversed by a D.C. court judge earlier this year which gave the Department six weeks to prepare for the rollback. The states who sued the Biden Administration have appealed for an emergency injunction which could come at any time.
The bulletin was first reported by CNN.
Primarily, DHS warns of more Venezuelans coming to the border.
"Although the number of Venezuelan migrants arriving at the US Southwest Border decreased after the mid-October US migration policy announcement, we expect migration flows to begin rising in response to the reversal of Title 42," the bulletin says. "In mid-November, a US federal court ruling ended Title 42 authorities, which will allow migrants to claim asylum. With Title 42 ending, Venezuelan migrants who previously considered returning to Venezuela or remaining in third countries to apply for legal pathways to enter the United States will likely recalculate their decision and transit north to the US Southwest Border."
DHS earlier this year allowed up to 24,000 Venezuelans to come into the United States legally, and have to meet a certain criteria and if not they are sent back across the border.
Migrants who have settled in encampments just outside of the southern border will attempt to re-enter the United States after the policy expires, according to the bulletin.
The bulletin says human smuggling organizations will likely try to take advantage of this opportunity for profit.
"Human smuggling organizations will likely adjust their methods to successfully cross migrants into the United States and will employ social media and encrypted messages to fuel misinformation regarding US enforcement, judging from US Government reporting," DHS also warns. "Misperceptions of the May ruling to lift Title 42 probably fueled migration flows to the US Southwest Border, judging from US Government reporting."
DHS has turned their eye towards the organizations by setting up a task force earlier this year.
They also say in the bulletin that "Honduras and Guatemala are unprepared and underfunded to handle the increases in southbound Venezuelan migrants, with some seeking asylum and others turning themselves into migration officials and requesting voluntary repatriation to Venezuela."
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said regardless of Title 42, people who shouldn't be here will be removed and that smugglers will use this policy change to pry on vulnerable people.
"Nonetheless, we know that smugglers will spread misinformation to take advantage of vulnerable migrants. Let me be clear: Title 42 or not, those unable to establish a legal basis to remain in the United States will be removed," he said this week.