“Smugglers have long been hard at work spreading false information that the border will be open after May 11. It won’t be. They are lying,” Mayorkas said at a press conference.
“To people who are thinking about making their journey to our southern border, know this: The smugglers care only about profit, not people. They do not care about you or your well-being. Don’t believe their lies,” he added.
Mayorkas warned migrants not to risk their lives and funds “only to be removed from the United States if and when you arrive here,” he stated.
“We urge migrants once again not to believe the smugglers who are lying to them solely to make a profit. We are building lawful pathways for you to come to the United States. Do not place your life and your life savings in the hands of ruthless organizations,” Mayorkas warned.
He also said the administration is “urging personnel to the border” to support local law enforcement as states along the southern border ready for an expected surge of migrants when Title 42 lifts.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has repeatedly stressed the expiration of Title 42 does not mean the border is open.
The policy, which was framed by the Donald Trump administration as a health order when it was first rolled out, is ending on Thursday with the expiration of the national emergency declaration over the Covid-19 pandemic.
Migrant processing will be returned to the system used under Title 8, which comes with stiffer consequences for irregular migration.
An individual removed under Title 8 faces a minimum five-year bar on reentry the United States and could hit with criminal prosecution if they try again.
DHS is rolling out a new rule that assumes those who don’t use lawful pathways into the U.S. are ineligible for asylum, allowing for the expulsion of migrants who do not “establish a reasonable fear of persecution or torture in the country of removal,” a move the department says is aimed at incentivizing the use of the lawful pathways.