Since the Lukeville Port of Entry was closed, migrant encounters at the border have surged.

However, migrant encounters have been surging at the Southwest border for about half a year since Title 42 ended. The Trump-era policy was instated during the pandemic but was lifted by President Biden in May.

Congressman Juan Ciscomani said hes hoping H.R. 2 passes. Its a bill that would not let migrants stay in the U.S. while waiting for asylum. So far it has passed in the House but still needs to pass in the Senate. Its almost like Title 42, which sent migrants at border check points back over the border and denied them asylum.

These are policies that we saw them, implemented, and worked and thats why we need to go back to them, Ciscomani said.

In Congress he said theyre discussing similar policies. H.R. 2 is one of those policies. Its a bill that he supports that makes migrants go through a credible fear interview.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says to qualify for a credible fear, migrants must prove they are being persecuted because of their religious beliefs, political ideology, or nationality. There are also more specific qualifications.

Ciscomani feels like the federal government should be stricter when it comes to those qualifications.

So that people that are claiming that they have credible fear to seek asylum have to meet a higher threshold beyond just Im out of work at home. I need to be in the United States, Ciscomani said.

He said he wants to add personnel for the interviews to make sure migrants are told within 3 days if they have a legitimate claim.

H.R. 2 would also give border patrol more personnel and resources.

Giving our border patrol agents an additional tool that they can say you need to go back or you need to wait in Mexico and the people that do have legitimate claims can be processed quicker, he said.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says there were only about 30 thousand migrant encounters at the southwest border in March 2020 when Title 42 kicked in.

They said in October of this year, that number grew to over 240 thousand!

Congressman Raul Grijalva said Bidens administration, like past administrations, has not been effective in handling border issues.

The Biden Administration is no different from previous ones. This is an issue that politically, socially domestically, and in terms of the complexity of it has been an issue that no administration has been able to handle, Grijalva said.

So far the White House has not taken any action since the Lukeville port of entry closed but Governor Katie Hobbs did announce Wednesday that she is deploying the national guard to help state troopers in the area around Lukeville. The Guard says it will be phasing in its logistical support over 30 days

Both Grijalva and Ciscomani agree that there needs to be unity with both the Republicans and Democrats on the issue.

We have to find common ground. We have to look at solutions, not just make the political rhetoric, Grijalva said while Ciscomani said, We are united regardless of the party on the issues that matter to us.